That sounds like the sort of thing that nefarious agencies and corporations do doesn’t it? And we all know that they do 😦 This, however, is much less sinister 🙂

A couple of days back I shared some of my recent Farming Simulator activity on Twitter – some of these images may become part of my future post from my Boundary and Rosland Farm series, so I won’t share the initial media at this time.

I’ve mentioned before the great friendly community on Twitter centred around the Truck Simulator games that I am lucky enough to be part of 🙂 As in any good community, there is always banter, so my post of recent farming activity elicited the following response…

“If I had a chance to get you here (by your will, of course, I’m not a maniac) I would give you the IMT 533 and I’ll let you plow my land and see how you handle it 😉 “

Firstly – I should make clear that my firend is not a native English speaker, hence the odd choice of words. This should really be read like an invitation to holiday at his place 🙂 It’s also a sort of laying down of a gauntlet – a challenge if you will 🙂

I asked (using my recently gained knowledge of ploughing from my research) – “Is the plough set up for in-furrow or on-land? 😉 “

There was a hiatus at that point and I’m guessing my young friend either had to go and check with his Father or he might have just been busy in their fields – They’re clearing an area of grass you see. I should add at this point that all of this is visible to the rest of our followers, so not a private conversation, and several are marking our chat with likes 😉

He finally tells me it’s “On-land. We just need a little chunk done for healthy growth of our trees. We are currently mowing it.”

A while later he posts – “Martin will get this chunk done in March next year but for now we are preparing it for winter.” – with a photo of him strimming an area of grass as part of the work.

But while he’s been busy on the family farm, I’ve been busy tracking down an IMT 533 tractor mod for Farming Simulator 19 🙂 As far as I can tell, this tractor is a Massey Ferguson 35 manufactured under licence. I also sorted out an IMT plough and a map set in Eastern Europe, not too far from my friend’s homeland so that I could at least catch the flavour. I posted back to him, “Thought I’d better get some practice in… 😉 ” with these images from Farming Simulator…

And I got the great response… “You just made my day!” with appropriate emojis 🙂

Social Media may be one of the evils of our modern world but it can also be a bridge-builder between people of different ages, cultures and religions. We really shouldn’t let governments, or corporations, own and control it. Neither should we allow the haters to guide our behaviour – there’s a lot of opportunity for friendships to be forged on social media and just maybe that can lead to a better world 🙂

I intend to post about this farm one in-game day’s activity at a time. A reminder that each in-game day equates to approximately 10 days in the Seasons Year and that the actual playing time for around 15 hours of ‘daylight’ is approximately 3 hours of irl time. Posts about Boundary Farm will be interspersed – time there is 1 to 1 with irl time although each day also equates to 10 days of whatever month we are playing.

Day 1 – March 1st-10th.

I get a late start because the game starts us at 08:00 rather than at first light. I already have a plan of action and as suggested in my previous post from the Bessy Beneath map, I know that I will be taking out a bank loan. First step was to purchase the Sheep Farm…

I should show you the farm – here’s the Farmhouse with the machinery barn and the bales barn beyond…

…The field behind the house is my grass field and opposite the buildings is my sheep pasture…

To work this I only really need a small tractor with 80-100 HP. I visited the local dealer – conveniently located at the end of the lane from the farm. The dealer is an AGCO / Massey-Ferguson dealer and I intend to be as brand loyal at possible on this play through. Other brands specifically advertised are Kuhn, Vaderstadt and Krone, so expect to see the products of those companies represented too.

In-game there is the Massey-Ferguson 5600 series tractor which would meet my 100HP needs well, but I can also get the newer 5700 series as it is available as a mod. So that is what I chose to do – this is the 5710S…

…And I also bought a front lifter and pallet fork by Stoll and a trailer from FarmTech. Some of my first jobs will be transport and I will need a trailer to carry bales as and when I get my sheep 🙂 In fact a couple of my first jobs were transporting and I had an amusing incident with the ai on the main road…

…It seems they all drove into each other when I slowed to turn off at my delivery point – they were still there when I came out 😉

Next purchase was a Spreader for Fertilizer or Lime – I need to fertilize the grass to promote strong growth. With luck I’ll be able to get a Silage harvest from field 19 before I have to turn it to Hay production for my Sheep – the ones I don’t own yet! I’m also buying field 15 from that map I’ve shown above because I want to have a crop as a means of getting some income in the period when the sheep are just eating and not producing wool.

Owning field 15 automatically means a second tractor – one that can pull a plough. Again we’re going Massey-Ferguson and once more it’s a mod. The base game offers the 5600 in the small tractors. The next tractor available is the 7700 – which is bordering on a large tractor but creeps into medium. The price reflects that status. So I need something in between – something with around 180HP. That is the Massey-Ferguson 6600 and the 6616 version gives me 185HP for £133K…

…A nice comparison shot of the tractors together in my barn. Here’s the 5710S returning home from another delivery job…

…The roadsigns will give you an idea of where we are in the UK 🙂

I took out a loan for £150k to facilitate my second tractor purchase and also to buy a plough. Again, I’m sticking with manufacturers that the local dealer sells. So I bought a Kuhn 153 4+1. To translate, that is a 5 blade plough which cuts 2.5m. If you’ve been following and read my notes about ploughs and required horsepower, you may be wondering why I’ve gone with a plough that only needs 125HP (game claims 150HP) when I could go with the 153 5+1 which probably needs 150HP (in-game rating 180HP). One word – testing! While testing I found that the 6 bladed plough caused the tractor to lose traction so badly, even on the flat, that every row was being cut at 4-5mph. When I checked the soil moisture figures I found them to be significantly higher than on Boundary Farm. The Seasons mod claims to include adhesion changes according to ground conditions and here I’ve seen it in action. With the 5-bladed plough the tractor achieves 6-7mph consistently and so the speed more than makes up for the loss of width on a medium-large field. Here’s some business at the sharp end…

…as I work on into the night at the end of March 10th, ploughing field 15. I need to get it ready for liming in the morning. It was 23:00 when I finished. I put the tractor to bed and then went to turn in myself…

Time to try out another map in Farming Simulator 19. This map is based on a real location in Cornwall called Bessy Beneath. Like most maps it offers a choice of possible starting farms from the main dairy farm in the area to a couple of very small sheep farms. As far as I can see, all aspects of gameplay are present and the scenery is well crafted although it’s probably not quite as good as the Oakfield Farm and Six Ashes maps which I have been playing on.

Perhaps it’s time to tell a bit about what happens before any of my Farming Simulator 19 series. There’s a lot of background work goes on in this game before I start to show you my posts. I test some options, try out owning various farms on the map that I’m hoping to build a series around. Some maps fall by the wayside during this testing – not because there is anything inherently bad about them, they just don’t suit my style of play. A classic example would be Marwell Manor – created by the same modder as Oakfield Farm, the removal of all the farm buildings if you choose to play as anything other than New Farmer doesn’t sit well. But a lot of players only ever play as New Farmer, so it fulfills a need. The West Newton Farm map has the issue of all that farm equipment sitting there if you choose to play somewhere other than the main farm, whatever mode you choose to play in.

Then there is the decision of whether to play with Seasons activated. It took me a long time to cross that bridge but I’m glad I finally bit the bullet with Boundary Farm on the Six Ashes map. Now it’s time to push on to the level that the Season’s developers feel gives the most realistic feel of time passing – that’s using nine in-game days to represent each 3-month season and setting the clock to 5x speed. I’ve been playing Boundary farm in real time, so this will be quite a change.

To assess the change I have tried several starts on the Bessy Beneath map and after testing I think I can say that the 5x speed probably reins in the amount of work you can achieve in a day to a much more realistic amount. From mixing and matching different types of work and earning up to £70k per in-game day, I may get two fields ploughed and earn £8k before the light goes during an early spring day. That’s quite a hit on the potential finances of a farmer trying to start from scratch!

During testing I’ve taken some shots that I hope will give a basic idea how the map looks in early spring…

…And it’s clear that there’ll be a lot of dawn starts and quite a bit of working into the late evening. And there’s also the opportunity to do some submarine ploughing too 😉

I’ve decided to play this map alongside the Six Ashes map – so then you can see just how quickly I move through the seasons on Rosland Farm compared with Boundary Farm. It will also display the much harder financial task facing me as I play at the faster clock speed. If you’ve been watching the monies in the top corner of the screenshots you’ll know that I’ve been doing a good job of keeping my head above water on Boundary Farm and I expect to have almost all the money I need sitting in the bank when it comes to harvest time and I need to make that big purchase! Rosland farm will be so very different and if I want to progress I will almost certainly need to take out a bank loan.

On this map, I’m going to be a Sheep farmer with some arable work thrown in. That will be a learning process too! I’ll tell you how it goes over the next few weeks 🙂