[Crops 101] How to Sow & Harvest Potatoes (2024)

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.

What you need for potatoes

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.

  • You need a tractor + weight attachments. You require weights in addition to various tools, so the front wheels of your tractor don't lose traction because of the heavy machinery attached in the back. They counter the weight of tools. More info in the equipment section.
  • You need a subsoiler. Because of the roots, you need to plow the field after every harvest. A subsoiler is easier and faster to use than a plough, although both works.
  • You need a planter and seeds. In the ‘Potato’ category in the tool tab of the shop, you find specialized planters. You also need to buy a Bigbag of crop seeds containing all the different crop types. After the first harvest, you can use your own potatoes to fill up the planter.
  • 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. If your field requires 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 hoe 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 harvesting equipment. There are two options: You could invest in the expensive self-propelled potato harvester, or get a haulm topper and pulled harvester combination.
  • You also need a trailer to transport and sell the harvested crops.

Equipment Selection (recommendation)

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.

  • Tractor: CLAAS Axion 800
  • Subsoiler: Kuhn DC 401
  • Planter: Grimme GL 420 + Tenwinkel PAC-1000*
  • Haulm Topper: Grimme KS 75-4 +Tenwinkel FGB-600*
  • Harvester: Grimme EVO 290
  • Hoe: Einböck CHOPSTAR 5-90 ROW-GUARD + Tenwinkel PAC-1000*
  • Fertilizer: BREDAL K105+ Tenwinkel FGB-600*
  • Trailer: WELGER DK 115

* 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.

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 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.

More about soil rollers

More about field stones

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.

Well done!

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!

[Crops 101] How to Sow & Harvest Potatoes (2024)


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