Row Spacing: Optimal Spacing For Cereals

July 26, 2023

The Optimal Spacing For Cereal Crops – Insights From Moore Unidrill

When it comes to maximizing the yield of cereal crops, one crucial factor that often goes overlooked is the row spacing during planting. The distance between rows can significantly impact the growth and productivity of cereal crops, and finding the right balance is essential for achieving optimum results. There are many different opinions on this subject and many agronomists and seed drill manufacturers think differently. In this article, we’ll explore some insights from various agricultural experts and studies, along with our own expertise and in field experience with our popular Arable spec seed drills. Moore Unidrill has many years of experience building direct drills for arable requirements as proved with the popular DPA seed drill that was built in the early 2000’s.

The Importance of Row Spacing:

Row spacing plays a critical role in cereal crop production. It directly affects light interception, nutrient uptake, water utilization, and overall crop development. The correct row spacing will allow crops to access vital resources efficiently and minimizes competition among plants. Finding the optimal row spacing can lead to improved crop health, increased tillering, and ultimately higher yields.

Narrow Row Spacing for Maximum Yield:

Moore Unidrill, a renowned name in direct drills and agricultural seeding equipment, advocates for narrow row spacing to achieve maximum yield. Their Arable Mounted seed drill is designed to allow farmers to plant cereal crops with precision at narrower intervals, typically around 12.5 cm or 5 inches apart. The Moore Unidrill product line is known for its outstanding performance, allowing for better seed placement and ensuring uniform emergence. This narrower spacing ensures better light penetration and distribution throughout the crop canopy, which is crucial for cereal crops’ optimal growth and development.

Benefits of 125mm Row Spacing:

  • 125mm row spacing provides the crop with considerably higher competitiveness against weeds
  • This is important as more herbicide resistant weeds are on the increase. Research shows that 125mm row spacing results in 20% less weeds than 150mm.
  • Narrow rows also means the gaps between the rows close in faster which reduces the amount of moisture evaporation and soil erosion
  • Shade provided sooner for improved micro-climate


Benefits of wider row spacings:

  • Reduced equipment cost, fuel consumption and horsepower requirements [per acre]
  • Easier to seed through heavy residue
  • Improved ability to seed between the previous year’s stubble rows
  • Allows for timely and thorough weed removal with a inter row harrow – more critical with wider row spacing

Some farmers may consider wider row spacing for specific situations. While narrower row spacing is generally favored for cereal crops, there might be instances where wider spacing is preferred. Wider rows can provide advantages like improved airflow and reduced disease pressure, making it especially relevant in certain climates. However, farmers should carefully evaluate the trade-offs between wider and narrower spacing to ensure they make the most suitable decision for their cereal crops’ specific requirements.



It is essential to consider that different cereal crops may have varying preferences when it comes to row spacing. Some crops might perform optimally with narrow rows, while others could thrive better with wider spacing. Additionally, local environmental factors, soil types, and management practices should be taken into account when deciding on the best row spacing.

Row spacing is a vital aspect of cereal crop production that can significantly influence overall yield. Moore Unidrill’s Arable Mounted seed drill stands out as an excellent option for farmers looking for precision planting with narrow row spacing, enabling optimal light interception and crop development. By leveraging the expertise of Moore Unidrill and considering insights from various agricultural sources, we trust this blog has meant you can more confidently determine the most suitable seed drill for your farming operation.

Check out the below link to discover the Moore Unidrill coulter design…

System Moore – The Original One Pass System.

And a few photos below showing examples of crops sown with 125cm row spacings.