If you’re not, this video courtesy of reporter Mike Brooks at WICS in Springfield, Ill., gives you a good background on detasseling and why seed companies like Monsanto do it.
This Twitter search stream gives you a bit more, um, color, about what detasselers are saying this summer.
I was at the corn field while Mike was interviewing Monsanto employees and the workers. The detasseling is quite impressive. I’m not certain I could handle a whole month of detasseling, let alone a week.
A machine trimmed the tassels the previous day. Then, the next day a group of 20 or so workers walk down a half-mile row of corn and picks out the tassels missed by the machine. Then the crews turn down the next row and do it again. They cover the mile in about 45-50 minutes.
And as you may have noticed in the video, the crew is wearing long-sleeve shirts, pants, gloves, glasses and hats with safety nets on the front. In 90-degree heat. And 80 percent humidity. Water breaks are frequent.
The attire is necessary for safety reasons. Corn leaves have sharp edges and can give you a paper-cut-like scrape. Monsanto has a nurse at each of our facilities to provide training and support Monsanto’s personnel that are on site at each detasseling field, in case there is an emergency.
Thanks to all of the crews across the Corn Belt that are helping seed companies like Monsanto produce the best seed for the 2011 crop year!
Do you have a detasseling memory or story to share?
Recent Detassling Stories: