[Crops 101] How to Sow & Harvest Corn/Maize

November 18, 2021

Welcome to your next "Crops 101" lesson of the Farming Simulator Academy! We’re focusing on corn. We’ll show you how to plant, harvest and sell it. Let’s go!

(Video coming soon!)

What you need for corn

Let’s take a look at everything you need to plant and harvest corn. Please note, you need special equipment.

  • You need a cultivator. Or, if you’re changing crops as well as after every third harvest, you need a Plough or subsoiler. We stick with a cultivator for this task.
    • Tip! Some cultivators have an in-built seeder and/or fertilizer spreader. That allows you to carry out multiple tasks in one go!
  • You need a planter and a Bigbag of crop seeds containing all the different crop types in one bag.
  • You need a fertilizer spreader, fertilizer and lime. Without, the income from your harvested crops will be lower. For beginners, artificial fertilizers are the best choice. You find both lime and fertilizer in the BigBag section of the shop. A fertilizer spreader is found in the fertilizing technology category.
    • Tip! If your field needs lime, it will be shown in the right corner box if you’re standing on the field and on the map in the menu.
  • You need a weeder to get rid of the weeds that will soon pop up. Otherwise, the income from your crops will be reduced when you sell it.
  • You need a harvester with a corn header to harvest your crops. For corn, you need a special header. 
  • You also need a trailer to transport and sell the corn.

Equipment Selection (recommendation) 

We chose the following equipment. This should be a well-balanced selection for beginners. Of course, you’re allowed to make your own choices. But mind your account balance. Depending on the game mode, some machines are already available at your farm.

  • Tractor: John Deere 7810
  • Cultivator: RABE MR 250
  • Seeder: Agromasz Falcon3
  • Harvester: Topliner 4090 HTS + Ziegler Corn Champion 5R 
  • Weeder: Einböck Aerostar-Exact 600
  • Fertilizer: BREDAL K105 
  • Trailer: WELGER DK 115

Let’s go to work!

Got everything you need? Then let’s start on your assignment and plant some crops. Note, that you can only plant corn between the beginning of April and the end of May if seasonal growth is enabled. ​​​​​​​

Step 1: Cultivating the field

For corn, it’s usually enough to cultivate instead of plowing. Unless the game tells you to plow the field, we’ll use a cultivator. Get to the field, lower the cultivator into the ground and start cultivating.

Step 2: Planting corn

Get the planter of your choice 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, plant away!

Tip! Do yourself a favor and don’t speed up the time while doing this, or the crops will grow unevenly.

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.

Step 3: 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. 

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.

Tip! Repeat the fertilizing process after the first stage of growth to increase the fertilization to 100%. The yield will be even higher.

Step 4: Getting rid of weeds

Soon, the first weeds spawn on the field. Take your weeder to get rid of it before the crops grow past the first stage. In the first stage you can still use the weeder to remove weeds. After that, you’d need a field sprayer, but let’s try to avoid that in favor of our finances. If you play with crop destruction use a tractor with narrow tires, otherwise a lot of plants get destroyed. Got rid of it? Good, now we wait again, until the crops are fully grown. 

Tip! You can speed up a bit until the weeds start to grow.

Step 5: Harvest the corn

With seasonal growth enabled, corn has to be harvested between October and November.Take your harvester and attach the corn header. On the field, lower the header, start the engine and proceed to harvest. Is the tank filled up? Click the button to extend the pipe and position it directly above the trailer to unload and wait till it’s full.

Step 6: Selling the corn

We sell the corn right away as soon as the trailer is filled up. Look for the best selling point on the prices screen and unload the trailer in the designated area. You get more yield if you wait for the price to increase, though. You can store the corn in a silo. 

Well done!

Congratulations, you harvested and sold corn. 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!

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