Welcome to your next ‘Crops 101’ lesson of the Farming Simulator Academy! Today, we’re focusing on delicious grapes, and creating a nice vineyard on your farm.
(Video coming soon!)
What you need for grapes
Grape vines require the proper distance between each other to save space, and also get exactly the right amount of sun, water, and air. That’s also why you need specialized equipment. You’ll work in narrow spaces between the vines. Let’s take a look at everything you need to plant and harvest grapes.
You need an open space to build your grape vines. Not necessarily a flat field used for your other crops, but a nice meadow on the hill, maybe.
You need a tractor to attach the following tools and operate them.
You need a special subsoiler to loosen the soil between your grape vines.
You need a mulcher to cut back the grass growing between the vines.
You need a special fertilizer spreader and a pallet of liquid fertilizer. Without fertilizer, the income from your harvest will be significantly lowered.
You need a special grape harvester to harvest the grapes.
You need a leaf cutter to prepare the vines after harvesting to grow grapes again.
And you need a trailer to transport and sell the harvested grapes.
Equipment Selection (recommendation)
We chose the following equipment. In the ‘Packs’ section of the shop, you find everything you need. As stated before, your usual tractor, and spraying machine won’t fit between the vines, and you need slim machinery.
Tractor: Landini REX 4 GT
Cultivator: AGRISEM DISC-0-Vigne V
Mulcher: TMC Cancela TPN 140
Harvester: Braud 9070L
Fertilizer: Hardi Mercury 4000L
Trailer: Fuhrmann MRWK 6000
Leaf Cutter: Provitis MP 122 OCEA
Let’s go to work!
Got everything you need? Then let’s start on your assignment and place some grape vines. Open the build mode and click on ‘orchards’ section in the production tab. In there you’ll find grapes, and olives. Note that you can only plant the vines between the beginning of March and the end of May if seasonal growth is enabled.
Step 1: Placing grape vines
Place the vines by clicking on free space on your land to put down a pole. Then, you just drag the vine across the field and put down another pole. Now, we have one row, but more to go.
Since grape vines should be as close together as possible, zoom in, and move the cursor away from the first row until you see the silhouette turn up again. That’s the ideal distance between two rows of vines. Put down the next pole, drag the vine across the field, and put down the final pole, again. Repeat this procedure until you get enough vines.
Step 2: Mulching the ground
Since we want to keep the spaces between the vines clear, we’ll attach the mulcher to the tractor, as soon as grass begins to grow higher. Lower the mulcher, turn it on, and mulch row after row. Make it look nice and tidy, and immediately continue with the next step.
Step 3: Cultivating the field
Since the vines are close together, we’ll use a slim subsoiler for this task. We’re cultivating between the vines to loosen the soil, so that the vines can be supplied with more water and nutrients. Maneuver your tractor with the subsoiler attached between the vines, carefully, lower it into the ground, and start cultivating one row after another.
Step 4: Applying Fertilizer
As soon as the vines reach the first stage of growth, fertilizer will improve the yield. Click on the objects’ category in the shop, and buy the liquid fertilizer Bigbag or pallet. Then, hook up your sprayer to your tractor, position it right next to the BigBag and click the button to refill.
Back at the vineyard, you drive carefully in between the vines, turn the sprayer on and cover one row at a time in fertilizer. Instead of fertilizing two times with one growth stage in between, activate the double application rate of the sprayer – this way, you only have to fertilize once.
Step 5: Harvesting the grapes
Now, the real fun begins – let’s harvest the ripe grapes, using our special grape harvester. With seasonal growth activated, the grapes will wither after October. Drive it up to your vineyard, unfold it and turn it on. Position the harvester centered in front of the first row. Since the vines go through the center of the harvester, you can zoom in a bit to check if you’re centered. Are you? Then go ahead, and harvest until the tank is full. Try to drive in a straight line.
Step 6: Selling the grapes
To unload the harvester, drive it up to your trailer, facing it rearward, since it unloads in the back. Press the button to start overloading, and all the harvested grapes will be unloaded into your trailer until it’s full.
Now, look at the prices screen in the menu to see where you can get the best prices for your harvest. You can also choose to process the grapes, and turn them into delicious grape juice, or raisins. You can sell those for an even higher price. Depending on, if you want to sell or process, unload in the respective designated area.
Step 7: Preparing for the next harvest
With most crops, we’d be done by now. But with grapes, you have to do one last thing. You don’t have to place new vines to grow grapes again. But you have to prune them to prepare the vines for the next year, so grapes can grow again.
As soon as the leaves on the vines turned yellow, take your leaf cutter and attach it to the front of the tractor. Unfold it, turn it on, and cut the leaves off by driving carefully between the vines. Now you’re done.