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  1. #1
    Platinum Member bdog's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    657
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    John Deere 4440

    Default row crop spacing?

    I just traded for a 2 row lister (3 15" furrowers on a 2" diamond toolbar), and a 2 row planter. Most of the farmers around here use 40" rows and the lister and planter are set up for 40" rows.

    Problem is my tractor tires are 48" on center. There is some adjustment on the width, but for the other things I do, and the difficulty of adjusting the width, they are going to stay at 48". I could not set them to 40" or 80" even if I wanted to.

    I am a newbie to this but with a 48" tire spacing I am limited to either a 48" or 24" row spacing - correct? I mean if I list the field with 40" rows, then when I go to plant the tractor tires are not going to be in the row bottoms.

    From what I have read on the internet most people use 30-40" rows. To me 24" seems too narrow and 48" too wide. What would you recommend I use? I am mainly going to be planting sweet corn, and other vegetables for home gardens, but some of these may be 2-3 acres.


  2. #2
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11,832
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: row crop spacing?

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( What would you recommend I use? )</font>

    I would pick up another tractor that will cultivate the 40" rows. The one you have will get you through the soil work-up phase, and maybe even the planting. After that, cultivating will need to be done with the right row-crop spacing.
    If you go with 24" rows, you will likely have to get narrower tires for your "48" tractor to fit between the 24" rows.
    These CUTs weren't designed for row crops, seems like.


  3. #3
    Platinum Member bdog's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    657
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    John Deere 4440

    Default Re: row crop spacing?

    I measured and my tires are exactly 12" wide. So from inside to inside of my tires is 36", outside to outside is 60". So I guess technically I could fit between 24" rows, but if I got off by an inch or two I would damge the rows. So it seems that 48" rows are my only option?

  4. #4
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    3,806
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 1025, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010

    Default Re: row crop spacing?

    My 4010 is 48" wide with 12.5" tires. Guess that puts my rows at about 36" wide. Here's a picture of the disc hillers mounted on my diamond bar that I made the rows with.

    I do the planting and all the rest by hand because I've an electric fence around the garden and have soaker hoses down every row. Impossible to use the tractor in there after making the rows.

    Got my diamond bar set up with 4 chisel plows in the middle and 2 smaller disc hillers for behind the wheels to maintain the present rows.

    Ralph
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  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    112
    Location
    Mississippi
    Tractor
    4330 Kubota, 600 ford

    Default Re: row crop spacing?

    I hesitated before writing this because I am fro the old school of mules and middle busters, top harrows, side harrows and the like. Poor farmer from Mississippi that depended on our gardens for the dinner table. I use 36 inch spaced rows. I have a 4330 that I brak and disk my ground with and a 600 ford widened out to make up the rows with. I have two middle busters set 6 foot apart, I make a pass and then straddle a furrow to get the exact 36 inch row. After making the rows then I harrow off the tope with my section harrow. Cultivate with two row cultivators. On the last plowing I use the middle buster lightly again. Like I said earlier we depend on these peas on corn as well as other vegtables for our meals. Not only is it cheaper to grow and put up it's much more tasty than the bought stuff. I know their is an easier way but I still like my raised beds with the middlebusters. It is also much easier to keep clean, the middles provide a place to work the grass to. Luck be yours and I agree than you really need a tractor to set up as you like and leave it that way.....teddy

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Sep 2004
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    583
    Location
    south/central Va.
    Tractor
    Deutz Fahr Agrofarm 100, Stoll loader, bucket, forks & root grapple

    Default Re: row crop spacing?

    Back when we still raised tobacco we used 140 Farmalls. We set those up for 44" rows. The tobacco had plenty of room to grow and it also assured there was enough dirt to keep adding to the bed up to lay by time. It was pretty much the standard for this area. Before the Farmalls we used 135 MF to list the beds up and used mules to cultivate the crop. It was still 44" then. I got out of tobacco in 79 so I don't know what the 2 and 4 row outfits were spaced at.

    Even when we planted corn we used those Farmalls and used 44" rows. Worked the same for gardens too.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    799
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Tractor
    JD 2440/4440/4020/4955

    Default Re: row crop spacing?

    All depends on WHAT you're trying to grow....

    40" rows went the way of the Pony Express Rider around here YEARS ago, for corn planting anyway... 30" is the favored way now, wit 20" making some headway.

    For years, soybeans were planted as a "solid stand" crop. (drilled in 7" to 11" rows) In the early 50's, soybeand went to 40", then 30" rows, planted with a corn planter. Then no-tilling caught on....The easiest way to plant was with a drill. Also, you get a "crop canopy" quicker with drilled beans, and that helps with weed competition. Now, with the advent of Asian Rust in the U.S., "wide-row" beans are making a comeback. Sunlight can penetrate the canopy, helping to combat fungal outbreaks. Also, sprayers can get to the underside of plant leaves better when beans are planted in wide rows.

    To simplify life, I'm making a switch next growing season to 20" rows for both corn AND soybeans. That will give me the best of both worlds, and will eliminate the need for TWO planters rolling in the spring. (I'll still hang on to my JD 750 15' drill for wheat and planting hayfields)

    All this may or may NOT answer the original question. It may just add MORE confusion....

    I'd tend to set rows to match the tractor if it's difficult to change width. Corn can do quite well in 24" rows. So can soybeans, Milo, or a number of other crops. plants needing wider spacing....? Go with the 48" rows.

    When you start talking about veggie crops, row width can vary like the weather.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member bdog's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    657
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    John Deere 4440

    Default Re: row crop spacing?

    Thanks for the replies. I guess my main concern is more of a logistical one than what is better for the plants. I understand what you are saying on the pros and cons of different spacings. As I stated above this is only going to be for hobby gardens. I have had absolutely zero experience with row crops of any kind.

    I would like to be able to make the rows, plant, and then come back and cultivate and or spray at a later time. All of this requires me to drive in the bottoms of the rows. With 12" wide tires, centered on 48", is it feasible to drive in 24" spaced rows without tearing them up? I would prefer 24" over 48" rows, but I am not sure if I can drive down 24" rows or not.

  9. #9
    Gold Member redlevel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    357
    Location
    100 miles south of Atlanta
    Tractor
    Ford 600; Farmtrac 535

    Default Re: row crop spacing?

    Although not optimal for "real farming", most vegetable crops such as sweet corn, beans, peas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, etc. will do very well in 48" row spacing. In fact, some of the crops (tomatoes, in particular) need this much space between the rows.

    As I see it, your options are to adjust your planter outfit to plant two rows on 24" centers, or to plant one row on 48" centers. In either case, your tractor will straddle the row(s). Some planter setups are very difficult to set up in the closer row configuration. Cultivation becomes difficult in the narrow row spacings, too.

    I plant my garden with a 48 year-old 600 Ford and 50 year-old Covington planters, with the wheels set on 60" centers. This gives me 30" rows. I could narrow the wheels more, but it would make it very difficult to cultivate, given the amount of "play" inherent in the 3 pt. hitch of a nearly 50 y/o tractor.

    The standard around here for row crops (cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans, etc.) is 36" rows. The reason I use the 30" spacing is so that I don't have to narrow the wheels for land prep (2-bottom plow) and then widen them for planting and cultivation.

    To properly space your planters for 24" rows: find the center-point on your cultivator or tool bar, then measure 12" in each direction and secure your planters there. This is assuming your tires measure 48" center to center. For 48" rows, just put the planter on the midpoint of whatever carries the planter. If I were in your situation, I think I would go with the 48" row spacing purely for the simplicity.

    By the way, you are not actually driving with the wheels in the "bottom of the rows". Your wheels are running in the "middles". [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    Silver Member
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    Jun 2004
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: row crop spacing?

    Unfortunatley I was in the same boat with my kubota, cept mine is just a lil bit bigger, an M9000.

    Had to spread out the tires, which meant unmounting them, flipping the rims over and putting them back on.

    I did this all in a few hours time by myself, and the tires are 18.4 x 32 on the back and 12x24's on the front.

    As long as you ain't got fluid in your tires, they should be no problem to spread out.

    Spreading your tires out also has another side benifit, less pucker factor when your on a slope.

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