Multi-Year Evaluation of Dryland Corn Yield with Skip-Row Planting



  • Using a skip-row configuration in arid environments has been a common management practice, especially for cotton.

  • Skip-row planting could be a beneficial practice for dryland corn in some environments.

  • Typical growing conditions in Central Texas could be conducive for a skip-row planting configuration in corn.

  • The objectives of this study were to determine if a 2-1 skip-row planting configuration has any advantages compared to solid planting of corn in Central Texas and to evaluate the optimal seeding rates of corn for skip-row compared to solid planting.



  • DEKALB® DKC67-42 brand SmartStax® corn was planted in 2017.  DEKALB® DKC67-99 and DKC66-29 brand Trecepta® corn was planted at both locations in 2018, and the data was pooled across products and locations.

  • Solid planting was conducted on 30-inch rows using 6-row plots.

  • Skip-row planting was arranged using 6-row plots, with rows 2 and 5 unplanted.

  • Skip-row populations were on a per-acre basis, meaning that the seeding rates within a row were actually 1.5 times higher than corresponding within-row rates in the solid planting treatments. 



  • Near optimal growing conditions in 2017 resulted in inordinately high dryland corn yields, while drought stress contributed to below average yields in 2018.

  • Under higher yielding conditions in 2017, solid planting out-yielded skip-row planting at all seeding rates (Figure 1).

  • Corn yield tended to increase with increasing seeding rate in the solid planting plots in 2017, with 36,000 seeds/acre producing the highest yield.

  • In contrast, solid planting resulted in equal to or slightly lower yields compared to skip-row planting at all seeding rates in 2018 (Figure 2). 

  • Under lower yielding conditions in 2018, the seeding rate appeared to have minimal impact on yield, with a slight decrease in yield as seeding rate increased under solid planting.




  • With excellent growing conditions and extremely low drought stress, skip-row planting may not provide an advantage over solid planting of corn.

  • Although these results suggest that skip-row planting may have a slight yield advantage in a low-yielding environment, the yield deficit with this configuration in higher-yielding conditions probably makes this practice unfeasible for dryland corn production in Central Texas.


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