Fresh Fields

June – The first two weeks…

This month has started busy and it’s going to continue busy in more ways than one. 1st week and as expected, my winter Barley crop is ready to harvest. That means that other farmers also have Barley to harvest. A quick check of available contracts showed two Harvest jobs along with some more Haymaking work too. I decided to take one of the harvesting jobs over in field 70 near the Zetor dealer.

Although field 70 is not large, it’s still a bit of an undertaking with the low-powered FMZ Vistula – especially with a sharp gradient from one end to the other and the twist up to the top corner. You can get an impression from this view…


…It was a real grind of a job and I was glad when I took the last of the harvested Barley off to the grain mill. I think it was that job that finally decided me – the Vistula’s time had come.

Stepping out of the map for a minute, lets quickly talk about mods and the need to keep checking the ModHub to see what’s been added. New mods are added all the time by Giants Software themselves and by individual authors – of which the FMZ Vistula is one. When I wrote a couple of posts back about how much a replacement Harvester was likely to cost I had three possibilities in mind, all by individual authors. As a fallback, I had the New Holland TX32 from Giants – I didn’t really want to use that as we have used it in the past and it’s nice to have some different machinery on display. The key requirement was that any item fits with the vintage style of my game-save. The day before I went to start June’s work, I checked on the harvesters in the ModHub once more and there was a new addition. It was also well priced and would make the change over immediately possible. However, I didn’t know until I was working that first job that I was going to upgrade there and then!

I have to admit I had grown attached to the clunky and basic charm of the Vistula. But, I also needed a more modern Harvester that can accept a Corn Header. I approached the dealer and he tracked down a 1970’s Claas Dominator 85. The cost? – around €40k including the standard header and trailer. Now that was a price I could afford and he would take the Vistula off my hands for nearly €9k. The deal done, I took the new Harvester back to my farm…


…Like the Vistula, I find myself open to the elements – later versions had a cab! It’s a much larger machine than the Vistula – capable of holding 5000l of harvested grain – and it has nearly double the horses too at 120HP. Its first job was to harvest field 2 – my Barley crop. That’s a bit confined with the adjacent fields (containing my growing crops) close on each side and a deep ditch at the end by the road. I’m pleased to say I found it quite manoeuvrable and a lot quicker than its predecessor. (and, from previous experience, the TX32). Here it is pumping out lots of straw…


After harvesting my own crop, I took another contract harvest on a neighbouring farm and was very pleased with the result in a more difficult setting. When I talked about Haymaking I spoke of the difference between Scythes/pitchforks compared with my old machinery and the time that change in farming must have saved. Well, there’s almost another quantum leap forwards from the 1950’s Vistula to this 1970’s Claas.

With no more harvests in the contracts, I devoted the second week of June to more Haymaking for a neighbour. It’s one of those jobs that pays well but gives you time to think and plan. Planning is what I need to do right now.

I have a problem – my equipment has outgrown my storage space. The main shed is full of tractors, the baler and the harvester…


…as well as the grass cutter and the front-loader. The closed shed has the seeder and spreader and also holds supplies. The header trailer for the harvester is parked out in the open between the main shed and the lime silo. Meanwhile, the area behind the fuel tank has several items that, hopefully, are not easily damaged by rain…


…Windrower, Tedder, Sprayer, Cultivator, Plough and Roller. At the middle of June, I have nearly €30k in the bank and I have to look at getting some more accommodation for my machinery. I’d prefer another field but I think this has to be the priority. Then there’s the other problem – 5000l tank on the Claas – I think I’m going to need a bigger trailer too! See you all next time 😎👍

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