Depth of Planting Study

Depth of Planting Study
Six different planting depths were compared, beginning at 1″ and ending at 3.5″ in half-inch increments.

Bushels per acre vs. planting depthResults:

Agronomists have long argued that corn must be planted at least 1.5″ deep for adequate nodal root development. This study confirms that notion with yield results.

Planting just a half-inch shallower than the 1.5″ minimum resulted in a 15 bushel per acre yield loss on average across six crop tour location sites.*

Planting depths from 1.5″ to 3″ deep allowed for uniform emergence and adequate nodal root formation. In 2016, the 3.5″ planting depth resulted in a 26 bushel per acre yield loss compared to the three inch depth averaged across all locations. Soils are colder as depth increases, making it harder for corn plants to emerge uniformly. Stand reductions were seen in the 3.5″ planting depth.

White Planters Depth Control Setting

White Planters positively display planting depth at the depth control setting and allow row unit depth control ne tuning by adjusting the bolt and jam nuts as shown in the photo at right.

Equipment Solution:

White PlantersTM come standard with the most accurate depth control system in the industry. Rows may be calibrated prior to the season so that depth is accurate and known for all rows.


Up to $60 per acre improvement in pro tability.** Consider trade difference and number of acres of corn grown to calculate acres required to pay for improved depth control.


Download the Study White Paper


* Summary Data from six crop tour sites: Galva, IL; Edgewood, IA; Amboy, IN; New Ulm, MN; Jackson, MN; Estelline, SD
** Assumes 15 bushel per acre average yield advantage when planting at least 1.5″ deep compared to 1″ deep at $4/bushel

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