How to Remove Corn Tassels

Overview

Hybrid corn produces much higher yields than corn that has been self-pollinated. Ever since farmers discovered this, they have been detasseling corn. The corn plant's tassel contains its pollen. By removing the tassel of some corn plants, farmers prevent the corn plant from pollinating itself. Once the tassel is gone, the pollen of other, nearby corn plants is carried by the wind to fertilize the corn to produce high-yield hybrids.

Step 1

Wait until the corn plant's tassel (located at the very top of the corn plant) is exposed, sometime between mid-June and mid-July.

Step 2

Grab the tassel at its base with your hand. Then pull it upward and off the plant.

Step 3

Drop the tassel on the ground. As it decomposes, its nutrients will be recycled.

Step 4

Move on to the next corn plant in the row and repeat steps 2 through 3.

References

  • Holloway's Detasseling: What is Corn Detasseling?
  • Mindfully: Detasseling, a Midwest Rite Of Passage, Faces Extinction
  • Nettleton Corn Detassling Crew: What's Detasseling
Keywords: detasseling, corn tassels, remove tassels

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.