Week 9: Gro-Alliance

Now that detasseling season is in full swing, long work days have started at Gro-Alliance. A field gets detasseled right before the tassel comes out of the plant. This involves a three step process. First, the plants are cut using a cutting attachment on a sprayer. This removes about half of the tassel and makes the field even so that it is easier to remove the tassels. Next, the field sits for a few days to allow the tassel to grow a few inches which makes them easier to pull. Then the puller goes through and pulls out most of the tassels. However, the machine does not get all of the tassels so the next step is to have detasseling crews go through the field to remove the remaining tassels. My job is to follow these crews and perform counts on their completed fields to ensure that they have gotten the remaining tassels. The purity level allowed is four tassels out of every thousand. This sounds like a low number but considering that the planting rate is 40,000 seeds per acre this can allow a fair amount of tassels. It will take nearly a month for all of the fields to be detasseled.

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