Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
4:51 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Detasseling Delay

IPR's Pat Blank talks with a seed corn production manager about this year's slow growth

The wet spring has delayed the growth of corn used for seed by Iowa companies including the largest, DuPont Pioneer. That, in turn, has pushed back the schedule of hundreds of part time workers who make money in the fields by removing the top of the plant known as the tassel.  Production manager for the Reinbeck facility, Colby Entriken says ,"we're hoping to start pulling tassels next week which is about a week behind schedule. We'll then be pushed into the second week of August before we finish up."  DuPont Pioneer and others like it hire workers to ride or walk through the fields while wearing safety gear including hats and gloves. The result of their work is hybrid corn which means millions of dollars for the seed companies.

Most detasseling crews include teens and young adults
Credit Courtesy photo