Welcome to your next "Crops 101" lesson of the Farming Simulator Academy! We’re focusing on potatoes. We’ll show you how to plant, harvest and sell those little taters.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to plant and harvest potatoes. Please note, you need special equipment. It’s not the cheapest, and therefore potatoes are not the best choice of crops to start with at the beginning.
We chose the following equipment. We use both a haulm topper and a harvester as separate machines. Although it takes longer, buying separate machines is cheaper. If you have the money, buy a self-propelled harvester instead - this will save you a lot of time.
* Weight attachments recommended: Click on "combinations" on the shop page of a tool to display corresponding weights to attach to your tractor. You may use one weight module for multiple tools (see our recommendation) - small weight discrepancies are not critical.
Tip! You might want to use multiple trailers at once to transport the potatoes.
Got everything you need? Then let’s start on your assignment and plant some crops. Note, that you can only plant potatoes between the beginning of March and the end of April if seasonal growth is enabled.
Step 1: Plowing the field
If necessary (the field info box lets you know), you have to plow the field, first - depending on what grew on it before. If potatoes already have been planted and harvested before, you definitely have to plow to get rid of the roots left in the soil.
We use a subsoiler instead of a plow, because it's way faster. You can use a plow, too, if you want. Lower it into the soil, and start plowing.
Tip! Beehives in proximity to the field increase the yield of potatoes!
Step 2: Apply fertilizer and lime
Fertilizer will improve the yield. Click on the BigBag category and buy the Solid Fertilizer Bigbag. Then, hook up your spreader to your tractor, position it right next to the BigBag and click the button to refill.
Tip! Repeat the process after planting to increase the fertilization to 100%. The yield will be even higher.
Back on the field, you turn it on and cover the whole field in fertilizer. It should now be fertilized to 50%, look at the right corner box while standing on the field. It’s okay if there are some tiny spots still not covered.
Does the field tell you it also needs lime? Then head back to the shop, buy lime and repeat the same procedure. If you have fertilizer left, you can unload it first at your farm.
Step 3: Planting potatoes
Get your planter attached to your tractor and head over to the field. Position yourself at one corner of the field, lower the planter and turn it on. Now you plant the potatoes in rows until the entire field is covered. As we said before, it doesn’t have to be perfect right from the beginning.
Tip! If you play with crop destruction enabled, you should use a tractor with narrow tires for the following steps (as soon as the crop starts to grow), otherwise a lot of plants will get destroyed.
Optional: After you're done with planting, you can also use a soil roller to condense the soil and increase the yield by additional 2,5%. You don't have to, though. If small stones are left on the field, they get pushed back into the soil, so they don't damage your harvester, later. Big stones have to be picked up by a stone collector, though.
Step 4: Getting rid of weeds
Soon, the first weeds spawn on the field. Take your hoe to get rid of it before the crops grow too high. After that, you’d need a field sprayer, but let’s try to avoid that in favor of our finances. Got rid of it? Good, now we wait again, until the crops are fully grown.
Step 5: Cut off the haulms
As soon as the crops are fully grown, you shouldn’t waste any time. With seasonal growth activated, the potatoes will wither after September. Harvesting potatoes and sugar beet requires cutting off the tops first. This can be done simultaneously with the actual harvest. But since we’re not using an expensive self-propelled harvester, we’ll use a simple haulm topper.
Tip! You can disable plant withering in the game settings.
Tip! A haulm topper and harvesting tool (Step 6) can be attached simultaneously in the front and back of the tractor if it is powerful enough to operate both at the same time.
Step 6: Dig out the potatoes
Take your harvester, and start harvesting. Since your finances allow only a starting tier harvester, the tank will fill up quickly. Is it filled up to the brink, get the trailer to unload. When sitting in the harvester, click the button to extend the pipe and position it directly above. It will unload automatically until the trailer is full.
Step 7: Selling the potatoes
Now, look for the best selling point on the prices screen. Unload the trailer in the designated area. Since prices fluctuate over the year, you might want to store them to sell them later. You can see the price fluctuation on the respective screen.
Tip! Potatoes can’t be stored in a silo. If you want to sell them later, you have to unload them on the ground.
Congratulations, you harvested and sold your first batch of potatoes. Take your time and start on the next lesson, when you’re ready. And don’t forget to clean up your machines once in a while. Stay with the Farming Simulator Academy and you become a virtual farmer in no time!