Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
By Misty Aho, Intern
The season has begun and the sun is out and shining. Local seed companies have called their employees and some have even begun in the fields. The season of detasseling has begun, and many employees are ready to engage in the field work.
Detasseling is taking off the topmost part of the corn called a tassel. Workers walk down corn rows and pull the top-most part of the plant off, they then drop that part on the ground and so on down the row.
Seed companies have their detasselers do this so the production of corn is large. Separate rows are distinguished by the farmer; some male and others female. By removing the tassels in the female rows, the corn is ready for cross-pollination, and through the pollination from the male rows, the production of hybrid corn is immense.
The corn production is so immense that farmers will pay good money for detasselers to work hard and do well in the fields. The work is hard enough where the employees earn their money too, not just show up and get paid.
Most companies have a detasseling machine go through the fields before the employees. The machine takes off about 70 percent of the tassels but, that leaves the other 30 percent plus any other ones the machine had missed for the workers.
To be an employee for most companies you have to be 16, however, some companies have an exception for as young as 12. Most employees work 10-12 hour days, in the fields. The formen usually contact their workers a couple of days in advance of the first day. They then work daily for a couple of weeks until all of the fields are done.
At the end of the summer, everyone is happy: teens can spend their hard-earned cash, and still enjoy the summer sun; seed companies can relax because their detasseling is all finished up for the season, and parents smile because their wallets are fuller than usual.