Who We Work ForWe contract to detassel seed acres for Pioneer Hi-Bred and Monsanto Seed Companies, two of the largest seed companies in the United States.
We detassel in cornfields located between Seward and York, both north and south of Interstate 80.
Pay InformationHourly wages for Ailes Detasseling workers, range from minimum wage up to $15.00 per hour.
Pay is based on how hard you work. Under our pay system, whether you are a first year detasseler or a seasoned detasseler, everyone has the same opportunity to be a top wage earner.
We offer an incentive pay system, based on total completed cornrows. Come to our signup meetings to find out more information about this effective incentive system. Any incentive money earned is paid on your final check at the end of the season.
You will not have to wait until the end of the season to receive a paycheck. You will receive weekly paychecks mailed directly from Pioneer and/or Ailes Detasseling [TA DET, INC]. It depends which fields you are assigned to work in during each pay period.
We do offer an incentive payment for past detasselers that recruit their friends to work.
*** Recruiting Bonus: All returning detasselers can earn $25 for each person they recruit who is 14 or older. You both must work at least 90% of the season to receive this bonus. You must inform us of each person you recruit and make sure this information gets documented at the time the recruited individual fills out their employment paperwork.
You don’t have to be a certain age to qualify for a spot on one of our top crews. If we see an exceptional picker, even as young as 12 years old, we will bump them up to one of our top walking crews. In the past (before the required age was raised to 13), we bumped a 13 year old girl up and she earned $1902 for the season. However, to be honest, this is the exception rather than the rule. Some companies limit their top crews to a certain age requirement, but Ailes Detasseling does not believe in limiting the potential to earn money for any of our workers!
Age/Height RequirementYou must be at least 13 years of age and at least 5’2″ tall. Your height should be measured with your shoes OFF!
We have walking crews as well as crews that ride on machines (called carriers). The carriers are used for detasselers who do not have the stamina to walk or can’t reach the corn because of height limitations.
Timing & HoursDetasseling season begins in early July and is usually wrapped up by the first week of August. Some seasons could be longer than others.
Once detasseling starts, we work 17 – 24 (possibly longer) consecutive days, including Saturdays and Sundays.
Detasselers do work in the rain (as long as it is not lightning). Be assured, Ailes Detasseling nor the seed companies we work for will ever put your child in a dangerous situation. You are paid minimum wage if we have to sit on the bus to wait out a storm.
Days will seem long from the time you are picked up in the morning until you return in the afternoon. Please realize our buses have several stops for pick-ups and returns, which takes time.
Last season the average time worked in the field was 6 ½ – 7 ½ hours. Our longest day returning to Lincoln was 6:00 p.m. and our shortest day returning was 11:00 a.m.
No specific hours are guaranteed. There are too many variables regarding the detasseling season making it impossible to guarantee a certain number of hours.
Younger and first year detasselers may not work every day, depending upon the workload.
Supervision & TransportationOur supervisors are screened before hire and also subject to random drug testing during the detasseling season.
We have supervisors that teach school at Lincoln Christian School, Waverly Middle School, Goodrich Middle School, Lincoln Catholic Schools and Northeast High School.
Travel is provided to and from the cornfields on buses driven by supervisors who hold certified Commercial Drivers Licenses. You will be picked up and dropped off every day at the location you selected on your application form. You must be able to get to and home from your pick up site. No phone service will be provided, by Ailes Detasseling, for detasselers to call their parents for a ride home in the afternoon.
Daily return times for buses will be posted on Facebook(Brent Ailes) during the season. We do our best to give approximate times that buses will return to Lincoln, but please understand that traffic and other factors could influence return times, even after they have been posted on Facebook(Brent Ailes). We do our best to be as accurate as possible and update return times as necessary. Thanks for your understanding in this matter.
SafetyIf you have asthma, consult with your doctor prior to apply for detasseling to discuss if this job is appropriate for you. We will need a doctor’s note that states you are medically cleared to perform the task of detasseling. Please bring a doctor’s note with you to the signup meeting you choose to attend.
There is at least one port-a-potty at every field. They are normally equipped with soap and water for hand washing.
Safety is both Pioneer Hi-Bred Seed and Monsanto Seed Companies highest priority! All of our supervisors are trained in safety procedures, and we have one supervisor on each bus with first aid training.
Both seed companies have traveling nurses that visit each field once per day, or more often if needed should any medical issue arise.
***Gloves, safety glasses, protective hats and netting to cover the face are provided to all workers. These items must be brought to work everyday!
Safety rules are strictly enforced! Termination of employment is very possible if rules are not followed and abided by.
Automatic termination of employment will result from the following:
- Refusing to submit to authority
- Any kind of illegal activity
- Foul or abusive language
- Disrespect for fellow crew members or their property
- Throwing anything out of a bus window
- Throwing tassels in the cornfield
- Any other behavior/action deemed inappropriate by Ailes Detasseling or Seed Company Representatives
OtherThere are required employment forms that must be completed before you can begin working. The following forms must be completed at one of our signup meetings:
- Disclosure form (application and agreement)
- State and federal W-4 forms
- I-9 form (employee verification)
- You will need to know your social security number to fill out the employment forms.
- If you are NOT a US Citizen, you will need to bring your Permanent Resident Alien Card (Green Card). You will need to bring photocopies of this document. Both the front and backside!