How corn detasselers stay cool - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

How corn detasselers stay cool

Posted: Updated:

There's nothing like Iowa corn in July.

Unless you're the one going row by row in 90-degree heat -- detasseling.

It's a tough summer job, which doesn't get any easier when the temperature soars.

Today, the teens doing the work started even earlier because of the heat.

"Getting up for school is like sleeping in. I've never set an alarm at 3:30 before, but I can finally say I have," the detasselers say. 

The workers walk through corn fields, pulling the tassels off of the top of the corn and throw it down. This allows the plants to pollinate. 

"Once you pull all these tassels, your hands starting hurting," one worker says. "It gets hot. It can get pretty dang hot."

"It felt like your legs were turning to Jello and you almost fall every half step," another worker recalls what it was like detasseling yesterday. 

So why do they do this? 

Many of them said because of the money, the exercise and the friends you make. 

The teens take important steps to stay safe in the heat. 

They say, "You have to wear a hat with a net to protect your face, safety glasses and then you have to wear gloves." 

The detasselers also wear hydration kits where they store water. This allows them to carry water on their backs. 

This group finished around noon today -- a little earlier because of the heat.

The fields can be even warmer than you think because of corn sweat.

That's water -- which comes off plant leaves -- making the air even more humid.

Powered by Frankly