March 01, 2021

Corn field day

In 2018 Sport Wade, Inc. sponsored a Practical Farmers of Iowa test plot on Brian and Heather Kessel’s farm near Lamoni. We had some remarkably interesting results which you can view in detail at Farmer-Led Research titled “Planting corn in 60-in. row-widths for interseeding cover crops” published Jan 24, 2019. Our results can be summarized as follows:

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 we planted a diverse cover crop blend, our 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.

Our 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 I received a phone call from Jerod and Jess Flaherty, crop and cattle farmers northwest of Osceola, Ia, 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 23rd. Jerod sent me the picture above taken on July 31 and has agreed to host a field day on September 21, 2020. The field day will be located at 2084 Leisure Rd. Osceola, Ia 50213. Directions are as follows; take Exit 36 on I-35, turn west going past the Iowa State Patrol, District #2 headquarters to H29 (Leisure Rd.) pavement, proceed one (1) mile west around bend. Registration will begin at 8:00 am with speakers starting at 8:30. The speakers will be covering topics around holistic farming profits with 60 in. corn and diverse covers.

For questions and more information please contact Jim Johnson with Sport Wade, Inc by phone 641.745.7786 or email

*We encourage all participants to abide by CDC recommendations and best practices pertaining to COVID-19