Cutting tassels off of corn tops?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Oxankle, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    John;
    Were the tassels cut or broken off? I've never seen it done but have seen a video purportedly showing college kids working summmers taking of the tassels on the seed corn stalks.

    Is the corn planted on alternate rows, or alternate blocks, or in different fields?

    Strikes me that the seed corn, seed rice and the seed wheat businesses have contributed immensely to the improvement in human nutrition over the years.
    Ox
     
  2. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Corn de-tasseling is still a traditional summer job around here for those kids willing to get up early, get very hot and sweaty out in the fields and earn a little money. They let you start in your mid-teens. It used to be that the kids walked down the rows, but now they have cherry-picker type vehicles with a row of wire baskets in front that can carry groups of kids down the fields.
     

  3. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Depending upon how large a company may be, de-tasseling may be a mechanical or manual thing. A good many acres are in seed corn around here since it's the home territory of Renk Seed Company. I think that they've gone all mechanical now from the looks of the fields. Tops were evenly sheared off those which I saw yesterday. Four females sheared and one male left. 50 years ago, I too worked now and then de-tasseling for Blaney's Seed Corn. Then it was de-tassel 4 and leave 2 and walking mile after mile after mile!

    Martin
     
  4. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Well-Known Member

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    It's seed corn.
     
  5. gardentalk

    gardentalk Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know, tassels are of no use once pollination has occured (read: ears of corn are growing); at that point, you may as well "pinch" the top of the plant to force all the growth to occur in the corn.
     
  6. bugstabber

    bugstabber Chief cook & weed puller Supporter

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    It had to be corn being raised for seed. No farmer is going to detassel a whole field of corn just to get bigger ears, not very time or money efficient. IMHO.
     
  7. bugstabber

    bugstabber Chief cook & weed puller Supporter

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  8. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    The tassels are removed before the ears are formed on what will be the female plants. Those plants you see are two different varieties. When the ears form and silk appears, the only available pollen comes from the male plant. That's the one which still have the tassels. The result is a hybrid seed variety on the de-tasseled rows. The other row simply reproduces itself as a normal open pollinated variety.

    Martin