In 2018 Sport Wade, Inc. sponsored a Practical Farmers of Iowa test plot on Brian and Heather Kessel’s farm near Lamoni. Farmer-led research titled “Planting corn in 60-in. row-widths for interseeding cover crops” was published Jan 24, 2019; results can be viewed in detail at practicalfarmers.org. 

Corn field

Summary of results

With identical season long chemical weed control in 30 in. and 60 in. corn, the 60 in. corn out yielded the 30 in. by 10 bu/acre.

Where a diverse cover crop blend was planted, the 60 in. corn lagged the 30 in. corn by 10 bu/acre. However, that cover crop blend planted with 60 in. corn produced 3,000 pounds more total biomass/acre then the same cover crop blend planted in 30 in. rows.

The 2018 field day generated interest in many farmers, especially those with cattle operations to try a 60 in. plot of their own. Unfortunately, in 2019, the extended rain events in southern Iowa hampered the trials as many of the corn acres went to prevent plant. 

This spring Sport Wade, Inc received a phone call from Jerod and Jess Flaherty, crop and cattle farmers northwest of Osceola, who were interested in doing 10-15 acres of 60 in. corn rows. 

“We successfully planted two diverse mixes of cover crop in to his 60 in. corn at V-6 stage on June 23,” said   Jim Johnson of Sport Wade, Inc.

The Flahertys will host a field day on Sept. 21, at 2084 Leisure Rd. Osceola. Directions: take Exit 36 on I-35, turn west going past the Iowa State Patrol District #2 headquarters to H29 (Leisure Rd.) pavement, proceed one mile west around bend. 

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. with speakers starting at 8:30. The speakers will be covering topics around holistic farming profits with 60 in. corn and diverse covers. Participants are encouraged to abide by CDC recommendations and best practices pertaining to COVID-19.

For questions and more information, contact Jim Johnson with Sport Wade, Inc at 641-745-7786 or jj.ccc@outlook.com.