• Kate Ayers

Shift in crop-seeding pattern boosts yields

A different seeding method could help farmers produce more food while reducing herbicide use and nutrient runoff.

Uniform spatial patterns influence crop yields and weed growth, researchers found, an April release from Denmark’s University of Copenhagen said.

“In the vast majority of cases, higher yields and fewer weeds are the result of sowing crops in a more uniform, grid-like pattern, where each plant is equidistant from its neighbouring plants, both within and between rows,” Jacob Weiner said in the release. He’s a professor in the university’s department of plant and environmental sciences.

This uniform seeding pattern resulted in higher yields in 76 per cent of trials and fewer weeds in 73 per cent of trials, the release said.

When scientists used this planting method, crops’ roots occupied soil space faster and absorbed nutrients more efficiently. In addition, the crops shaded one another less during the early part of the growing season, the release said.

The study was published in January in the digital version of the journal Advances in Agronomy.

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