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Corn, to de-tassle, as Lovina's daughter is doing for summer job

  What exactly is involved when someone de-tassles corn?  Is that done everywhere?  I'm in Miami Counyt, Ohio, lots of corn here but I don't have much knowledge about farming - obviously!  Is this done just before they pick the corn?  Does the corn grow better?  Would like to hear about this.   Please inform this small town girl.

Re: Corn, to de-tassle, as Lovina's daughter is doing

Excellent explanation, that is just as Elizabeth described the process....Ugh, I don't think I want to go out and apply, but on some level I think it would be enjoyable work, IF I were that age you have boundless energy and the kids really make a lot of friends...

Re: Corn, to de-tassle, as Lovina's daughter is doing for summer

My husband de-tasseled as a teenager, as did my son. It is very hot and tiring work involving long hours walking through muddy fields, being eaten alive by mosqitos, and being scratched on the arms, face, and neck by the corn leaves. They would wear light-weight long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats. Sunscreen was a must, as well as a rain poncho or plastic trash bag to be used early in the morning and in case of rain. They also carried a water canteen with them at all times, and sometimes a portable music player of some kind.

The process involves snapping the tassel off the top of the corn plant before it has matured enough to pollinate other plants. It is done so that cross-pollination can take place. Several rows of one kind of corn are planted near several rows of another kind. The tassels are pulled from one of the varieties so that they have to be pollinated by the other. Sometimes the plants are so tall that the workers have to bend the plant over in order to be able to reach the tassel.

There are crew chiefs who check on the workers' accuracy and sometimes a raise is earned by doing a good job. Also a termination can occur if the worker misses too many tassels or tramples down too many plants.

Doesn't that just make you want to go out and apply?

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