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What is Corn Detasseling/Corn Topping?

Detasseling involves removing tassels that grow on a corn plant, which forces cross-pollination. The steps involved include finding the tassel, pulling it off, and dropping it to the ground. That is all there is to it! But it must be done right, or the crop will fail.

How old do I have to be to work?

You must be at least 12 years old July 1st to work.

This is intended to give the youth an opportunity earn extra funds and learn more about working (i.e. work ethic, working as a team, working outside)

How much will I get paid?

Starting pay is $8.00.  Returning Toppers and Crew Bosses will earn more based on experience.

When will I be paid?

All employees will be paid after all fields are closed and KTop is paid by farmers.

What paperwork will I need to apply for a position?
You must have a copy of your School ID or report card or driver's license and a copy of your social security card or birth certificate.  You will submit it on Gusto under the Document tab.


When do you start?

Usually around July 3-15

(whenever the corn is ready) --Everything depends on the weather and when the corn is ready. So, there is no set date when detasseling actually begins.

Do you work Saturdays and Sundays?

YES! We work Saturdays as needed and we only work Sunday's only when absolutely necessary.  Unfortunately, the corn does not take a day off growing.

What does a normal day schedule look like?

  • You will get up early enough to arrive to the field assignment by 6am.

  • If you are riding the bus it leaves at 5:35am

  • Once you arrive at the field you will clock in so you get paid.

  • Leaders will gather all to give instruction and tentative day schedule

  • Teams will be assigned with a Crew Boss

  • 30 minute unpaid lunch generally is around 11am

  • After lunch we complete our daily field assignments and workers are given a 30-45 minute warning to notify drivers.

  • As the season goes along we will go to several different fields each day.

How long do you work?

First, the season usually last anywhere from 20-30 days.  

Second, our days start at 6am & end anywhere between 1:00p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Basically when we finish our assigned fields for the day.

What do you wear?

  • Comfortable shoes (can walk several miles a day!)

  • Comfortable and light clothes: Some wear jeans, others wear shorts, some long sleeve shirts while others short sleeve shirts.

  • Raincoat or garbage bag-

    • The corn can be very wet in the morning from dew or rain. Many detasselers wear gear in the mornings to stay dry and warm, then remove it as the day progresses and the corn dries.

    • Bandanna/handkerchief tied around neck


What do you bring?

  • 1 Gallon Water Jug (with your last name written on it)

  • Cooler FULL of food

    • You are responsible for providing your own lunch. Many detasselers bring their lunch in a small cooler so they can use the cooler to sit on while they eat.​

  • Bug Spray/Sunscreen

    • There is little to no shade, we highly recommend that you bring and wear sunscreen.​

How do I get to/from the field?

Field locations will be shared prior to the workday.  You will be responsible to get to and from the fields.  We encourage you to carpool.  Most days we will travel to multiple fields so you will be picked up at a different field than we started.

When will I receive my paycheck?

After all fields are closed and KTop is paid.  More details will come as the season comes to the end.

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