FAQ: Why Do We Detassel Corn?

FAQ: Why Do We Detassel Corn?

What happens if you dont Detassel corn?

Up to 70% of tassels are removed mechanically. Then crews come through and clean the fields by hand removing any tassels that the machines missed. Timing is important because if you detassel too early yield may decrease. If you wait too long, the corn plant will start to pollinate itself.

Why do farmers cut the tassels off corn?

The topping of plants is for seed corn production. The tassels are removed so that plants can only be pollinated by other plants. This is the process of hybrid seed. Hybrid seed results in much better plant vigor and yield.

What’s the reason for detasseling corn?

Detasseling corn is removing the immature pollen-producing bodies, the tassel, from the tops of corn (maize) plants and placing them on the ground. It is a form of pollination control, employed to cross-breed, or hybridize, two varieties of corn.

Do they still Detassel corn by hand?

Detasseling corn is still a widely used practice to produce hybrid corn, said Joe Lauer, a professor and agronomist with UW-Extension. A common sign of a hybrid corn field is a four-to-one pattern, where four rows of detasseled inbred female corn are planted between single rows of male inbred corn for cross-breeding.

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How much money do you get for detasseling corn?

How Much Does a Corn Detasseler Earn In The United States? Corn detasselers in the United States make an average salary of $34,222 per year or $16.45 per hour. People on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $16,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $73,000.

Is corn male or female?

Corn (Zea mays) is monoecious, which means that each plant has male and female flowers. The corn tassel is the male flower, and the ear is the female part of the plant. The flowers are identical when they first bloom, but they quickly develop into male or female structures.

Is field corn safe to eat?

People don’t eat field corn directly from the field because it’s hard and certainly not sweet. Instead, field corn must go through a mill and be converted to food products and ingredients like corn syrup, corn flakes, yellow corn chips, corn starch or corn flour.

What can I do with old corn stalks?


  1. Fodder (ensilaged or nonensilaged) Corn stover (like various other kinds of stover ) can be used as feed, whether grazed as forage, chopped as silage to be used later for fodder, or collected for direct (nonensilaged) fodder use.
  2. Bedding (litter) followed by soil amendment.
  3. Direct soil amendment.
  4. Bioenergy for Boilers.

How long does it take corn to mature after it tassels?

Corn Varieties and Tasseling Time Early varieties of sweet corn generally require 70 to 80 days to reach maturity, while main crop types may require up to 100 days. The corn tassels about 20 days before the kernels are ready for harvest.

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Is corn detasseling hard?

The job of detasseling involves walking down the rows of corn and pulling each and every tassel out of the corn in “female” rows. In some ways, this is an easy job because the objective is so simple: just pull the tassels. But detasseling corn has its challenges.

Why is my sweet corn short?

The causes of shorter than normal corn can be traced back to planting date and temperature during stalk elongation. Remember that stalk elongation begins at about the V5 stage of development (five visible leaf collars). Prior to that stage, most of the plant’s energy is directed to root development and leaf initiation.

How does corn pollinate itself?

Corn is typically pollinated by the wind, having both male (tassels) and female (silks and ear) flowers. Tassels emerge from the top of the corn plant, then open to disperse pollen on the silks which emerge lower, from the immature corn ear.

What should I wear for Detasseling?

Instead of jeans, we recommend lightweight pants, footless tights under long shorts, scrubs, or shorts and long socks. Ensure your knees are covered if wearing long shorts and high socks. Closed-toe shoes are required. Most workers wear tennis shoes that are easy to walk in.

How many ears of corn are on a stalk?

Most sweet corn varieties will have one to two ears per plant because they are mature rapidly and are generally short statured plants. Early maturing sweet corn will have one ear while those that mature later have two harvestable ears.

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