Mid-winter, January and the days are very short. I’ve been filling in with work on neighbouring farms which has given the opportunity to try out some larger vehicles for cultivating jobs. This John Deere 8RX giving the chance to try an all-tracked vehicle…

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And this Deutz-Fahr 8280 finished in a special edition black livery…

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I’ve also started work on my new field – using the cultivator to mow down the weeds and prepare the soil…

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…and subsequently applying Lime.

With only cultivation jobs on offer, I started to get itchy feet (or fingers in the case of a computer game). I added a new building to my farm and then I went to the farm shop to buy some essentials…

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…I think that gives the game away as to what my new addiction is 🤣 Here’s the new Chicken Barn next morning…

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…which I have stocked with Chickens…

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I had always intended to start Egg production at some stage, and I guess now is as good a time as any 👍

Now for the disappointing news… While playing the game on Monday evening the pc decided to have a fit and crashed the game – I believe this was due to the ongoing issue with the memory leak in Windows that I have been living with. Today, I have been unable to start the game and I am currently trying a number of ideas to rectify the situation. Unfortunately, even if I do get the game working, the Ferme du Vieux Chêne game save will almost certainly be gone. Then I’ll have to make a decision whether to restart on the same game map or to use one of the other maps instead. Ultimately, I will be having to buy a new pc soon anyway, which will probably mean restarting all my saves in all my games.

Well, it’s the middle of May and that means it’s time to Share my Desktop for Clare 😎

I’m, once more, using a screenshot from a Truck Simulator game but this time it’s American Truck Simulator. The makers of the Truck Simulator Games, SCS Software, have taken many big steps forward over the last couple of years. They have upgraded the sounds and the lighting of the game while going back to older parts of the map system and improving the level of detail. Every change takes both games forward in terms of realism 😎

In some ways this was driven by the original release of American Truck Simulator in 2016. As the new kid on the block, it had to show it was up to what Euro Truck Simulator 2 was offering – it failed… SCS Software released ATS at a smaller map scale than ETS2 – a disappointing option that didn’t go down well with the fans of the original series.

Now it’s time to give credit where credit is due – they went back and resized the maps to the same scale as a free upgrade. I don’t know of many software development companies that would even consider that, let alone, carry it out! We got some beautifully scenic maps with some great details. But, ETS2 was now looking a little tired as a result. Cue an upgrade and remaking of the maps in Europe. These improvements are ongoing – Austria has just been updated and released as a free update last Thursday. Not to mention the free upgrades to the US maps – California is being rebuilt currently too! That has been the story throughout and explains why most of us who play these games take pride in supporting SCS when they are releasing new maps and other DLC’s.

So, back to the lighting. Last year, SCS updated this to show much more realistic sky effects. Now we get some beautiful sunsets and sunrises as a direct result and in general the days and nights look much more true to life. I think my Desktop this month illustrates that pretty well…

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…It’s dawn and the sky is threatening rain as I turn Smoky Bennett’s nose northwards on our way to Boise (ID) with Hay from Riverton (WY). We’ve just passed through the DoT station at Echo and we’re climbing away from the I84/I80 intersection heading towards Ogden. It’s a long grind ahead but we’re up to the job👍 And, yes, I can recognise this location on the real-world map 😀

You can catch Clare’s Share Your Desktop Challenge here. I know she’d love you to take part 😎👍

When I last reported from the farm it was the first week of October and I laid out my future plans. At the time I had €60K in the bank and I needed to push that up to €160K before making my move to purchase Field 23. So here we are in the first week of December and I’m cultivating a neighbours’ field…

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If you look in the top rh corner you can see that I have almost reached my target! How have I done that in just 2 months? Have I, perhaps, been hunting for collectables again to boost my cash?

No, this time I haven’t resorted to an official cheat – It has all been achieved by genuine work and a little RNG luck. I continued my start to October with some fertilizing. Then I picked up a Corn harvesting job in Field 15, right next to my farm. As I don’t have a corn header myself, I borrowed the equipment to do the job. I had the pleasure of trying out the Case Axial Flow 7150…

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…This is a wonderful piece of kit. Here’s a view from above as it chomps the corn…

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…and from the side…

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…For a big machine, it feels very compact. I liked it so much I’ve added it to my wish-list although I’d need around €400K to buy and equip it🤨 The job surprisingly gave me a big cash bonus for the delivered corn and additionally completed while I still had nearly 5000l in the harvester’s tank – that went straight to my Silo as a very welcome bonus for a job well done! 😎👍

My next large job saw me doing a Star Wars impression…

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…It’s actually a Hardi self-propelled Sprayer and I was hunting weeds in the second largest field on the map with hired equipment. I made a lot of money on that job. And that’s where the RNG comes in. If you’re lucky, the jobs just fall for you, and you can make a fortune very quickly 😎

Mid October and I was doing harvesting for another farm and when rain stopped that activity, I did some fertilizing for a different neighbour – the money was starting to rack up. The pattern continued through late October and early November. Then I hit the RNG jackpot – Fertilizing jobs for the two largest fields on the map. Even after buying the fertilizer to fill my spreader, I was guaranteed a payout of around €25K! I was able to knock those jobs out by midday (roughly equivalent to 5 day’s work). Then I picked up a Cotton harvesting job using hired equipment, I had the pleasure of this rather nice John Deere CP690 to do the picking…

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…A beautiful piece of kit and it needs to be at around €850K! For such a large machine it is amazingly agile – it can turn within its own body length! The cotton bales are deposited wrapped and ready. I subsequently had one of the Case cotton harvesters for another job and didn’t like it. Ultimately it just compresses the cotton into a large block, but at half the price of the JD, I guess that’s what you get. At the end of the harvest job, I delivered one of those large blocks to the spinnery and it should have closed off the job and given me a percentage of the bale as part of my payment. The bale is still sitting there…

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…and I’m accruing €1 every minute as the bale gradually is taken in 1l at a time by the spinnery. There’s around 17000 litres to go – I think that’s a Bug! 🤣

Back to where we came in… I now have my target money to buy Field 23 and I’m going to do just that. I shall see you all back on Ferme du Vieux Chêne very soon 😎👍