Week 8: Gro-Alliance

This year, detasseling season has started later than in the past. Part of this is due to rain during planting season and part of it is due to the lack of heat units that the corn received during June. Therefore, this week we had our first detasseling crew start in the field. The job of the crew is to remove the female tassels from the female plants. This allows only the male pollen to pollinate the female plants. This is done in order to make a clean crossover of traits without contamination from outside sources and the female plants themselves. In order to maintain this purity there can only be three out of a thousand tassels in the field. Normally, the crews are not expected to reach this purity level on the first pull. Most of the time it takes two to three pulls before this can be accomplished. My responsibility during detasseling is to walk behind the crews and make sure that they are removing the tassel without removing the top leaves of the plant. If too much of the top leaves are removed it can stunt the growth of the plant because the amount of sunlight that it can receive has become less. It is also my responsibility to watch the patterns of the crews and make sure that they do not miss rows throughout the field. I have to report all of this information to my supervisor at the end of the day.

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