- Main article: Wheat
Wheat is one of the different types of crops in Farming Simulator 15. Wheat is likely the most lucrative of the three starting crop types (Wheat, Barley, Canola) by a small margin. Wheat is simple and very fast to work, and provides free Straw.
Wheat is one of the three principle crops that the player can immediately begin to grow at game-start. In fact, one field of fully-grown wheat is already present on the map when a new game begins, and can be harvested with the player's starting harvester.
Wheat is planted using a regular Sowing Machine, on a field that has been prepared by a Cultivator or Plow. There are 3 Sowing Machines available in the base game. More advanced Wheat Sowing Machines also cultivate the soil as they sow, removing the need to pre-cultivate it.
After four growing phases (about 21 hours of in-game time, at the "Fast" growing speed setting), Wheat is ready to harvest. There are many Harvesting Headers in the game that are capable of harvesting Wheat, and most are quite wide, meaning that the work should be done rather quickly.
As with all other crops, a Wheat field can be fertilized in order to double its yield.
Harvested wheat 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. Generally, wheat gives the largest cash reward per each hectare compared to the other base crops (Barley and Canola), but only by a small margin. It is also far more lucrative than Corn, but much less lucrative than the root plants (Potatos and Sugar Beets).
While harvesting Wheat, the harvester may be instructed to leave a Straw swath behind it. This is a free resource, and there is no real reason to disable Straw swathing. Straw can only be created from Wheat and Barley. It is an important resource for improving Milk yields from Cows. Since it is basically free, Straw is a good "filler" component in Total Mixed Ration (TMR), a high-yield Cow feed, but it is not strictly required in the mixture.
Sowing Wheat Edit
The process of sowing Wheat generally 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 Wheat. 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 Wheat. 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 Rapid A 600S, and the Horsch Pronto 9 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. However, the two larger Sowers (the Rapid A and the Pronto 9) also serve as Cultivators - they will cultivate the soil as they pass over it, removing the need to make a separate Cultivator pass over the field first, as described above. In other words, you can start sowing the field with these machines as soon as you're done harvesting the previous crop. The three Sowing Machines also differ from one another in what other crops they can sow, but all three are capable of sowing Wheat, Barley, Canola, and Grass.
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 500 liters of seeds are required to plant one hectare of Wheat. This translates to roughly $300 worth of seeds per hectare.
Wheat Growth Edit
Wheat 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 Wheat will go through two extra stages of ripeness (taking another 10 hours or so at "Fast" speed). You may harvest Wheat during any of these ripe stages - the yield does not change beyond the first ripeness stage.
At the 7th, final stage, Wheat will wither - assuming the option of withering crops is enabled (otherwise it will remain ripe forever). Once withered, Wheat cannot be harvested anymore, and must instead be cultivated or plowed to make room for a new crop.
Harvesting Wheat Edit
Each of the Harvesters in the game (aside from the Krone Big X 1100, which is not really a Harvester) has at least one header capable of harvesting Wheat.
When unfolded and activated, the Harvester will pass over the Wheat field, destroying the plants and creating Wheat yield, which is stored within the Harvester. The Harvester can then use its pipe to unload the Wheat 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 Wheat, or 24,000 liters if fertilized.
Straw Swath Edit
When a Harvester is equipped with the correct Header, it can be instructed to enable "Straw Swath". While this option is enabled, if the Harvester is harvesting a Wheat field, it will leave behind a trail of Straw as it works. The "Straw Swath" option can only be toggled on if this harvester's last crop was Wheat or Barley - otherwise the game will refuse to enable the option until Wheat or Barley are harvested.
Straw can then be collected using a specialized machine called a Baler, which will pick up the Straw and turn it into packets of 4,000 liters each.
The Straw bales can then be transported to the Cow Pasture, where they will serve either as bedding for Cows (increasing their productivity by a small margin), or as filler in Total Mixed Ration (a potent cow feed).
NOTE: Enabling Straw Swath does not reduce the yields from your Wheat crops. You will receive the same amount of Wheat from a field whether or not you make Straw as well. Therefore, it is often best to leave the Straw Swath option enabled, if you have the equipment to collect it, and the Cows to use it for.
Selling Wheat Edit
Harvested Wheat 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 Wheat 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 Wheat 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.
Wheat is sold immediately as it is unloaded from the Tipper. Each ton (1,000 liters) unloaded from the Tipper will give you around $500-$600 (Normal difficulty). The exact price will differ from one selling location to another, and also depends on several market factors. Repeatedly selling large quantities of Wheat 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
Note however that the small yield / high price of Canola means that during the early game, working a Canola field with your starting harvester may take less time than working a Wheat field, but not much less.
While Wheat is significantly less lucrative than Potato or Sugar Beet, it takes far less time to harvest, and requires much less expensive machinery (you start the game with enough machinery to grow and harvest Wheat). Later on, however, you may find yourself growing Wheat specifically for its Straw yield, while growing Potato and Sugar Beet fields for the actual income.