Degree Type

Creative Component

Semester of Graduation

Fall 2019


Plant Pathology and Microbiology

First Major Professor

Dr. David Dornbos

Second Major Professor

Dr. Gary Munkvold


Master of Science (MS)


Seed Technology and Business



Hybrid sweet corn seed production can come with many challenges. Maintaining a high-quality standard of % hybridity allows my company to meet consumer demands and expectations. To achieve this, we must cross-pollinate two varieties. In doing so, it takes diligent work during the pollination window to make sure that the harvestable seed was not self-pollinated. This is accomplished through the detasseling process, which removes the pollen-carrying tassels from the seed parent prior to pollen shed. Sweet corn, through generational breeding efforts, has an abundant supply of pollen that can come from the tassel on top of a plant and through a prolific network of tillers down in the sub canopy. Often, these tillers can be easily missed during the detasseling process because of their smaller size and location on the plant. If not removed in a timely manner, the tillers can self-pollinate the seed parents, thus lowering the hybridity percentile and quality of the seed lot. In order to ensure proper tiller removal, farm labor crews are often sent through the seed field multiple times. The more time the crew is in the field, the higher the cost of goods produced. The utilization of agronomic controls to suppress tiller proliferation in hybrid sweet corn seed production fields could lower the amount of time a crew needs to be in a seed field and thus reduce the cost of goods produced.

My research examines some of these agronomic controls through two growing seasons and four replications. In this disquisition, I reveal the trial design and procedures used, present the results found, and discuss what they signify. I conclude with my recommendations moving forward. My data suggests a strong association between some of these controls and tiller suppression; and assesses the effect that these controls have on the yield.

Copyright Owner

Schmith, Clayton

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