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Combine harvester headers
Harvesters are an essential tool for collecting crops. The most common type of harvester used is a standard one with a matching header, such as a grain platform attached to the front of the vehicle. Specific headers are designed for harvesting corn, sunflowers, canola, and other grains. Harvesting sugar cane, beets, and potatoes require a different type of harvester, which can be costly. Therefore, many farmers choose to start by growing grain as it allows them to harvest a variety of crops with only one machine.
To transport headers from the store to your farm, you can use a specialized trailer that is inexpensive and avoids traffic problems. While dedicated headers vary in size based on the harvester’s model and power, if your field is flat, you can purchase a slightly better model that covers a larger area while maintaining power efficiency.
Using the harvester
As you begin harvesting with a combine harvester, keep an eye on its capacity meter in the lower-right corner. If it reaches its limit, you won’t be able to keep working until you empty it. To get started, first unfold the harvester, then lower the header and turn it on. Once everything is set, head out to the field, but be sure to avoid harvesting when it’s raining since it can cause significant damage to your yield. However, keep in mind that the weather only affects the yield size when it’s raining or snowing. Otherwise, the exact amount of yield you get depends on other factors that you can choose to engage with in the field.
Straw / Straw mowing
When you harvest grains such as wheat, rye, barley and oats, the process generates straw. If you want to use it to pad your cows and pigs, make sure to turn off the straw cutting – this will leave the straw in a pile behind the machine, ready to be collected. However, if you don’t intend to use the straw, it’s better to keep the cutting on so that the straw is evenly scattered across the field. This will prevent other machines from hitting a pile of straw and stopping or turning.
To collect the straw, you need to turn on the straw mowing feature in the harvester. If you see a straw path appearing behind the harvester, then you’re doing it correctly.
Even if you don’t need straw for your farm, it can still be sold. You can collect it with a forage wagon or use it to create hay bales.
Emptying the harvester
When the harvester is full, you have the option to transfer its contents into a trailer by extending the pipe. If an employee is operating the harvester, the contents will automatically start pouring out once you drive your trailer underneath the extended pipe. However, if no employee is operating the harvester, you’ll need to do it yourself.
As you move the crops, it’s important to keep in mind two settings that are enabled by default, but can be disabled in the settings if needed. The first is overloading, which can happen if you pour too much material into the trailer, resulting in wastage. The second is crop destruction, which can occur when you move a tractor with a trailer attached towards the harvester. To prevent destroying your own crops by driving over them, make sure to equip your tractor with narrow tires.
Another way to transfer your harvest is by emptying the harvester directly into the silo, which can be quite convenient. This method works best when the capacity of the trailer you use to store crops during fieldwork is equal to or several times larger than the harvester’s capacity.
However, it’s crucial to keep up with the harvest schedule, as crops that are not harvested in a timely manner will wither and become completely useless. In such cases, you’ll have to start all over again by cultivating or plowing the field.
It’s important to avoid harvesting during rainfall since it can significantly reduce your harvest yield. But sometimes, you may have no other choice but to harvest in the rain if the weather conditions persist for a prolonged period.
It’s worth noting that unlike in FS19, you cannot attach trailers to harvesters in FS22 to increase their capacity.
Unloading the harvester
Some trailers or semi-trailers can be extremely bulky, difficult to drive in a field or too high to the harvester’s pipe to reach overboard. Therefore it’s worth using smaller trailers and taking the cargo to your storage area. The second option is connecting several small trailers to each other. The third option are auger wagons. Thanks to them you can collect the payload from a harvester and unload it into, for example, a larger trailer standing on a nearby road.