- Main article: Corn
Corn (or "Maize") is one of the different types of crops in Farming Simulator 15. Although Corn can be harvested normally like any other crop, its total price is the lowest of any crop when harvested this way. Instead, Corn may be Chaffed by special (and expensive) equipment, and processed into Silage, in order to produce very large sums of money.
Corn is a special type of crop, that is not normally planted for regular harvesting purposes, but rather for the production of massive quantities of Chaff.
Corn can only be planted, grown and harvested using specialty equipment, most of which is not available immediately at game-start - particularly unique Harvesting Headers, different from those used to harvest the principle crops (Wheat, Barley and Canola).
Corn is planted using specialized Sowing Machines. Though the most basic one (which is already available on starting a new game) can plant all sorts of crops, including corn, more advanced Sowing Machines cannot plant the principle crops - only Corn and Sugar Beet. As with all other crops, Corn can only be sowed on a field that has been prepared by a Cultivator or Plow. There is no Corn Sowing Machine that can cultivate while sowing, so it is always necessary to cultivate the field separately first.
After four growing phases (about 21 hours of in-game time, at the "Fast" growing speed setting), Corn is ready to harvest. Harvest must be done with a special Corn Header, as there are no headers that can harvest both Corn and other kinds of crops. Each Harvester in the game has a Corn Header available for it, with varying widths. Most Corn Headers are narrower than other kinds of headers, meaning that the Corn Harvest usually takes a little longer.
Unlike other crops, Corn is particularly suitable for Chaffing. This is done with a completely different device to the normal Harvesters, called a Chaffing Harvester. This type of Harvester shreds the entire Corn, and must continuously dump it into an external holding tank (a Tipper). The resulting Chaff is then used in the production of Silage - a very valuable material that can be sold directly or used in Cow feed.
As with all other crops, a Corn field can be Fertilized in order to double its yield.
Harvested Corn can be stored in Tipper Trailers or offloaded into the Silo at the farm. It can be sold in a variety of locations on each map, for a variable price that depends on current market forces. Corn is normally the least lucrative type of crop, fetching less than 70% the price of an equal amount of Wheat, per hectare.
Chaffed Corn can also be stored in Tippers, but cannot be sold directly. It is instead dumped into Fermentation Bunkers at either the Biogas Plant or the Cow Pasture, and then processed into Silage. That Silage, however, is extremely valuable, making Chaffed Corn the most valuable type of crop.
Sowing Corn Edit
The process of sowing Corn begins with cultivation of the field, to remove the remains of whatever crop grew there previously. This is a necessary step even if the field was previously used for Corn. Any Cultivator or Plow is suitable for this task. The wider the Cultivator/Plow, the faster the work will go.
Any piece of cultivated soil can then be worked with a Sowing Machine that is capable of planting Corn. There are 3 such devices available in the base game: The Pottinger Vitasem 302 ADD (the player will have one of these at game-start), the Vaderstad Tempo F8, and the Horsch Maestro 12 SW.
The primary difference between these machines (other than their price) is their working width - the larger the Sower, the faster it will finish working the entire field. The three Sowing Machines also differ from one another in what other crops they can sow, with the Vitasem 302 capable of sowing most types of crops, but the Tempo F8 and Maestro 12 SW capable only of sowing Corn and Sugar Beet. Note that none of these three Sowing Machines are capable of cultivating the field as they sow, meaning that all Corn planting work must including a separate pass with a Cultivator or Plow prior to sowing.
Remember that the Sowing Machine must be filled with seeds before it can be put to work. This can be done by pulling the machine to the Seed Pallets at your farm, and hitting the Refill button. You may not sow manually with an empty Sowing Machine. A Hired Worker can work even with an empty machine, but at a much higher price than normal.
About 400 liters of seeds are required to plant one hectare of Corn. This translates to roughly $240 worth of seeds per hectare.
Corn Growth Edit
Corn grows at the same rate as most other crops. It requires 4 growth cycles to become ready for harvest, at which point it will turn visibly yellow. Growth times are not exact, but on the "Fast" growth speed setting it will take about 21-22 hours of in-game time for the entire field to ripen.
Once ripe, the Corn will go through two extra stages of ripeness (taking another 10 hours or so at "Fast" speed). You may harvest Corn during any of these ripe stages - the yield does not change beyond the first ripeness stage.
At the 7th, final stage, Corn will wither - assuming the option of withering crops is enabled (otherwise it will remain ripe forever). Once withered, Corn cannot be harvested anymore, and must instead be cultivated or plowed to make room for a new crop.
Harvesting Corn Edit
Each of the Harvesters in the game (aside from the Krone Big X 1100, which is more specifically a forage harvester) has at least one header capable of harvesting Corn. These are separate headers from the ones used to harvest Wheat, Barley or Canola. They cannot harvest any other crop except Corn.
When unfolded and activated, the Harvester will pass over the Corn field, destroying the plants and creating Corn yield, which is stored within the Harvester. The Harvester can then use its pipe to unload the Corn into a Tipper Trailer. This can be done while the Harvester is working, or after it has stopped.
One hectare will yield about 12,000 liters of Corn, or 24,000 liters if fertilized.
Selling Corn Edit
Harvested Corn can be sold at a variety of different places on each map. Each of these locations, marked by a white "offload" icon, has a grated dumping chamber embedded into the road, where Corn can be unloaded for sale.
These dumping chambers are used the same as the Silo back at your farm. Drive a tractor or truck towing a Tipper Trailer with Corn in it over the dumping chamber, and press the key to unload. Note that some Tippers can only unload behind them, requiring you to drive a little past the grate. Others can unload sideways as well.
Corn is sold immediately as it is unloaded from the Tipper. Each ton (1,000 liters) unloaded from the Tipper will give you around $350-$500 (Normal difficulty), making Corn the cheapest of all crops. The exact price will differ from one selling location to another, and also depends on several market factors. Repeatedly selling large quantities of Corn over a period of several hours or days may cause the price to drop (it will recover over time). Alternatively, if Great Demand is in effect for the specific location where you are unloading, the price may be up to 2 times higher than normal!
Price Comparisons Edit
Corn is easily the least lucrative of all crop types. It has a yield-per-hectare comparable to Wheat, at 12,000 liters per unfertilized hectare, but the top price for a ton of Corn is only about $500, which is around 20% less than Wheat. The price per hectare of Corn is roughly $12,800.
This makes normal harvest of Corn practically pointless, unless hoping to capitalize on sudden increases in the price of Corn, such as Demand Missions and Great Demand events.
However, because Silage is such an expensive material, Corn can fetch a much higher price if instead of harvesting it normally, it is turned into Chaff, as explained below. Though this takes considerably more work, the resulting price per hectare of Chaffed Corn is nearly 10 times greater than that of Wheat!
To make the best profit off Corn, it must be turned into Chaff. This is a very expensive venture, due to the price of the equipment required for the job, and can be very time consuming. However the profit off this venture can far exceed the profits off any other Crop in the game.
Once Corn has ripened (see above), it can be turned into Chaff by harvesting it with a special Chaff Harvester. None of the "normal" Harvesters in the game can perform this task. There are two very different types of equipment in the game that can do this, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
- The Pottinger Mex 5 is a tractor-mounted Chaffing Header, comprised of a narrow cutting head and an outflow pipe. It is quite cheap, and can be mounted on most tractors. Its low price is its primary advantage.
- The Krone Big X 1100 is a self-propelled Chaffing Harvester. Although extremely expensive, the Big X can be fitted with different headers that can Chaff not only Corn, but other crops as well, including both mowed and un-mowed Grass. To get the best yield off Corn, you will need the Krone Easycollect 1053 header. This header is more than 5 times wider than the Mex 5.
Neither of these devices comes with its own holding tank, so in both cases a Tipper Trailer or other similar towed tank must either be attached to the harvesting vehicle itself, or towed by a second vehicle alongside the harvester. This means that some manual labor will always be required when chaffing: either driving the harvester with trailers in tow, or driving the towing vehicle alongside the automated harvester.
Chaffing a Corn Field will yield a whopping 48,000 liters of Chaff per hectare if unfertilized, or 96,000 liters for a fertilized hectare. This can be processed into an equivalent volume of Silage, which is worth around $1,600 per ton - for a final value of $153,600 per fertilized hectare (almost 10 times more than Wheat).
The process of turning Chaff into Silage is somewhat arduous and hard to automate. For more information, please read the article on Silage.