Maize for Silage
Technical
Insight 330

MEASURING MAIZE PLANT POPULATION

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WHY MEASURE PLANT POPULATION?

Plant population may be measured to determine the accuracy of planting and to determine the magnitude of population loss due to flooding, insect pressure or animal damage.

HOW TO MEASURE PLANT POPULATION

  1. Determine the length of a row that must be measured. The length of row per acre or hectare varies depending on the row spacing. The conventional row spacing is 30’ (76.2 cm). The narrower the row spacing, the longer the length of row per hectare. The amount of row that must be measured to give one thousandth of an acre is shown in Table 1.

    Table 1: Length of row per thousandth of an acre for a range of row spacings

    Row spacing

    Length of row per 1/1000th of an acre*

    Length of row per acre*

    Inches

    cm

    Feet

    Metres

    Feet

    Metres

    15

    38.01

    34ft 10in

    10.63

    24,848

    7,574

    20

    50.08

    26ft 2in

    7.95

    26,146

    7,969

    22

    55.08

    23ft 9in

    7.24

    23,760

    7,242

    30

    76.02

    17ft 5in

    5.30

    17,424

    5,311

    * To convert measurements to a per hectare basis, multiply by 2.471.
  2. Draw a line across all the planter rows (e.g. for a six row planter, place a line across six rows). Measure the amount of distance to give 1/1,000th of an acre (Table 1) and draw another parallel line across the same six rows.
  3. Count the number of plants between the two lines for each of the rows. Determine the average plant population by adding together the total number of plants per row and dividing by the number of rows that were measured. 

APPROXIMATE SEED SPACINGS

The following table gives the approximate spacing between seeds for a range of planting populations.

Table 2: Seed spacings (cm) for a range of row widths and planting populations

Row spacing

Plant population

inches

       cm

88,000 per ha

35,600 per acre

100,000 per ha

40,000 per acre

110,00 per ha

44,500 per acre

 

 

Spacing between plants (cm)

15

38.01

29.21

26.67

23.88

20

50.08

22.10

19.81

17.78

22

55.08

18.54

18.03

16.26

30

76.02

14.73

13.21

11.94



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Revised: June 2015
Expires: June 2018