While it was raining in late September, I did get some work done – cultivating a neighbour’s field. Then the rains stopped, and I was able to close out the last few days of September by helping another neighbour with his Sorghum harvest.
The first week of October and a bright sunny start to the month. My Barley crop in field 14 was growing nicely and I decided it was time to fertilize…
Under the Precision Farming approach, you only apply the amount of fertilizer needed to get the maximum possible crop yield from the underlying soil. Field 14 being split between loam and silty clay allows me to show this. Here’s the loam side of the field…
…If you look at the box on the lower right, you can see that I have applied 180kg of fertilizer per hectare. The expected crop yield is 125% and matches the potential yield. On the other side of the field I have applied less fertilizer…
…120kg per hectare. The poorer quality soil will only allow a potential yield of 89% and by applying that level of fertilizer I have maximised the potential. Come harvest time, the other half of the field should be giving me 8.2 tonnes per hectare while this side will only give 5.9.
I am left with a question though. Back in the old system of working before the introduction of Precision Farming, we needed to apply two lots of fertilizer separated by different growth stages of the crop. Reading between the lines of what I see at this moment of time on my fields, I will not have to make a second application of fertilizer. I think I will be checking regularly to see if the fertilizing status changes over the growth cycle 🤨
While it was raining back in September, rather than spend all my ‘free time’ playing console games in the garage, I did some forward planning. Here’s the future I have mapped out for the farm.
1, Purchase field 23 – I need to maximise work for neighbours over the autumn and early winter to get the money I need. I currently have €60K in the bank. I will probably need to raise another €100K before I make my move for that field so that I have a working balance after the purchase.
2, Replace the Massey Ferguson 6716S…
…At the start of the game this tractor had to do all the work and it’s very rundown now. With the small Massey picking up the lighter work I should be looking to get a new large tractor for the heavy jobs like cultivating and ploughing. Not sure which tractor make yet but I’m probably looking for one that has over 270HP.
3, Replace the New Holland TX-32…
…Bought as a stopgap to harvest my first crop, the TX32 has allowed me to take some harvesting jobs for the neighbours too. However, it is slow and has a very narrow cutter head. Additionally, it also has a small grain tank meaning I have to empty into a trailer more often than I would wish. It is also very long compared with more modern designs, so manoeuvring can be a pain. I think I will probably buy another New Holland, but the Claas Tucano is also a possibility.
4, Buy a Planter – I need one of these to be able to sow Sunflowers, Corn and Soya Beans.
5, Replace my current Seeder with a direct-drill type so that I can move to minimal tillage and improve my environmental score.
6, Buy a Stone-Picker – to reduce damage to my other implements.
That’s quite a list and will need a lot of money so don’t expect these changes to happen overnight – it could almost be called a ‘Five-Year Plan’ although I hope it will take less time than that. There is no priority order on most of those purchases though buying Field 23 will come first. Of course, I may never get to complete the planned purchases on Ferme du Vieux Chêne – as anyone who read my posts from Farming Simulator 19 will know, I would really like to be farming on a more realistic and ‘English’ map. I’m just working the Haut-Beyleron map and gaining an understanding of the game while I wait for a suitable mod-map to come along 👍
Time to get back in the tractor. More from Ferme du Vieux Chêne soon 😎