Taking a Stand Count in Corn and Soybeans

May 26, 2010

Spring planting is mostly behind us now, and corn and soybeans are up. Take some time now and evaluate stand counts.  Understanding what may have caused a reduced stand or uneven depth of planting now can prevent it from happening again next spring. 

To determine stand count, use the table below with a tape measure to mark off 1/1000 of an acre.  Count the plants within the given distance. The number of plants x 1000 = plant population in plants per acre.  Take multiple counts of adjacent rows in different areas of the field to get an overall stand for a field.

Row Spacing

Length of Row for 1/1000 acre

38 inches

13 ft, 9 in

36 inches

14 ft, 6 in

30 inches

17 ft, 5 in

22 inches

23 ft, 9 in

20 inches

36 ft, 2 in

15 inches

34 ft, 10 in

When taking stand counts in drilled soybeans, I like the hula hoop method.  To count plants using the Hula-Hoop, randomly toss the hoop and count plants inside the circle. Convert plants per hoop to plants per acre by multiplying the number of plants by the appropriate factor.

The 28″ hoop is the easiest to calculate. With a multiplication factor of 10,000, 19 plants in the circle × 10,000 = 190,000 population.  Multiplication factors for other size hula hoops are below.

Hoop Size

Multiplication factor

28 inch


30 inch


32 inch


34 inch


36 inch


If you have questions about this post, please contact nancy.drummy@ces.uwex.edu.

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