Ag equipment with tactile steering and Summer Jobs for kids detasseling corn

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 09/02/2011 - 14:14.


The image directly above is of a Hagie corn de-tasseler parked near a completed job in Iowa.  

Corn de-tasseling used to be done by hand.   Kids out of school for the summer were hired to walk through the corn fields in gangs and cut off the corn tassels.     My friend Karen from Illinois had fond memories of their summer de-tasseling and the income and comraderie her summer job provided.  

Bus and kids image from The American Thinker article by David Paulin

De-tasseling by hand is pretty much history.

Check out the YouTube video at the top which shows the detasseler screaming down corn rows with the steering being done via tactile  sensors which "feel" the corn rows.   Note in the video the orange colored tactile sensors to the left of the rubber tire touching the corn stalks and guiding the steering so the operator doesn't have his hands on the steering wheel.  

Here is the description of tactile steering from Chaddied who uploaded the YouTube video:

"Detasseling Corn with steering guided by tactile sensors. The tactile sensors read distance from the plants and the PSR system guides the detasseler to stay inside of the row. One pair of sensors is mounted in front of each front wheel. No GPS is used. The system is a Reichhardt Ultra Guidance PSR using a hydraulic valve and tactile sensors.  Here are links to and to

Of course, there is also GPS steering.   Which is to be preferred?  Tactile or GPS steering?  What field conditions would favor tactile over GPS?  What other uses for the tactile sensor can you imagine? The Euclid busses should use them so they don't rub the curb on the passenger side - instead the busses use silly little caster wheels. 

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