Corn Detasseling

So the conversation in the bar the other day drifted to the fine art of Corn Detasseling and how much that sucked to do as a kid. So I thought I do some googling this morning about it. "You get up before the sun comes up, meet at the high school and get on the yellow school bus that takes you to the field. You know that your first 10 steps into the corn are going to be anything but pleasant because it's full of dew. You're wet head-to-toe no matter what you're wearing. The corn is tall, you're walking through mud and engaged in repetitive physical exertion for the next 10 hours. In the morning, it's wet and chilly. By 10 a.m., steam is rising from the field. By noon it's darn hot, and by three, it's extremely hot and you're exhausted."

"Detasselers all wear pretty much the same uniform at work. Gloves with rubber grips protect the hands, hats guard against sunburn. And despite the heat, nearly everyone wears a bandana around the neck, a long-sleeved shirt and long pants, all to avoid the detasseler's worst nightmare: corn rash.

"Oh, I have it on my legs, and I don't think it's going away anytime soon," says Robb Stewardson, 20, a junior at Doane College, in Crete, Neb., who is detasseling for the first time this summer. He wore shorts the first few days and is now suffering the irritation caused by leaves of corn brushing against bare skin. "It looks and feels like the worst sunburn you ever had, but it's a rash that's everywhere."

But I guess agra business is making a end to all of these fun time.

"But the tradition of detasseling could be coming to an end. Seed companies are developing ways to make wider use of what's called "male-sterile corn" -- corn whose tassel doesn't produce pollen, thereby eliminating the need for detasselers. It's planted next to a corn variety that is able to pollinate, so cross-pollination can be achieved more efficiently."

I dunno, corn that does not pollenate sounds like a bad bad thing to me.