Mid-January – the quietest time. I’ve done all of the ploughing and cultivating jobs that it’s reasonable to expect my equipment to be able to carry out. All that’s left are the big jobs. I turned my attention to the ongoing preparation of my field. First, I turned in the lime with the cultivator…

…and, as anticipated, this turned up some more stones🙄

So here’s a tip for anyone looking to play this game. Because FS22 is a new game, mods are still filtering through. You can check for available mods from the front screen of the game by selecting Downloadable Content…

…I found that since the first load of stones a couple of ‘Stone-picker’ mods had appeared. Here’s a screenshot from the ModHub on the Farming Simulator website…

…And an example of the Nico Pix Stone Bucket which shows the choices and costs…

I decided it was time to buy a front-loader and attachment for the Tractor. Then I bought the mid-sized stone bucket to use with it. The combination proved to be a very good alternative for my field…

…Picking up the stones and depositing them in my trailer…

…I sold the stones immediately but in future I think I will stockpile them and wait for periods of demand.

The other thing I bought to use with the front-loader was a pallet fork. I used that to tidy up the yard…

…putting everything away neatly…

…As you can see, I’ve also bought some seeds ready for the coming sowing season.

It occurred to me, while I was tidying up, that you haven’t seen ‘Me’! This is in-game ‘Me’…

…Not quite as ancient as the real one 🤣

With January nearly over I decided to get myself a seeder – I’m going to need one soon as sowing jobs will start to appear and, when I’m ready, to sow my own field. Once again, this is a mod pulled from the Downloadable Content page…

I finished off the month with a big ploughing job for which I borrowed some suitable equipment…

…Anyone who read some of my posts about Farming Simulator 19 will recall that I hate these ‘hinged’ ploughs. With a large field to work this time, I was able to refine my technique and start using the tool efficiently. The trick is to swing it round on itself in a tight circle and to only flip it once you’re lined up for the next cut. The job was made easier by the tracked tractor – it turns much sharper than a wheeled one!

It’s a bit of a beast…

…and I wouldn’t mind owning one of these in future once I have some large fields of my own! It took until after sunset to complete the task…

…but once it was done I’d earnt over €12K so it was worth the effort. That job closed out the month of January. February awaits… Till next time😉👍

It’s deep into winter now on the farm as we move into the last week of December. The days have really drawn in with the Sun only getting above the horizon around 08:30 and setting around 16:30. We’re getting snow showers but it isn’t settling.

I had close on €80k in the bank by mid-December and that will allow me to prepare my own field for next spring. The first job was the ploughing so I hooked up the Agro-Masz…

The act of ploughing brings a lot of large stones to the surface. These can damage your equipment. I remember one morning on my Mother-In-Law’s farm in Zimbabwe, the tractor driver was ploughing one of the fields and a rock broke off one of the plough blades. Ma was very annoyed with him – he should have spotted the rock and stopped the tractor, then summoned help to manually remove it. He’d thought it would just be pushed aside and it would be alright but sometimes the blades get broken off and then the job has to stop until the plough is repaired.

After I had ploughed my field, I droved to the vehicle dealer and hired the cheapest stone-picker they had. Then I lifted the stones…

…I took them down to the stone crusher and got paid the princely sum of €74…

…by which time, it was getting dark. I had two last tasks for the evening. Returning the ‘picker to the dealer and then getting some lime into my spreader ready for the following morning. Then it was time for bed.

First job next morning was to lime the field…

On the map you can see my field (17) coloured to indicate that lime is required. So off I went in the half-light…

You don’t want to be behind the spreader when I’m doing that unless you have full protective gear on! With that job completed, I sought out a ploughing job for a neighbour to put some money back in the bank…

…The field was on the side of the valley and had a steep slope resulting in continuous corrections to the tractor steering to compensate for gravity and the natural pull of the plough. We had another flurry of snow as I worked on this job…

…Another sign that Winter’s chill is on the land. The €4.5K I earned from this job covered for the repair bills for the tractor and plough with around €1000 left over – it feels like I’m living hand to mouth at the moment. And there’s still some work on my field to be done. I’ve ploughed, de-stoned and limed it but that’s only part of the preparation. I will have to cultivate it and that may bring up more stones which I will then have to either pick up or roll into the ground. for now, I’m going to let the lime wash in until early January.

During the dark Winter nights though, I can start planning for next year. Looking at possible crop sowing times and thinking about my best options…

At the moment I’m thinking Oats in early March and then a quick harvest in July. Then a follow-on crop of Wheat or Barley to grow over the following Winter.

It’s a hard grind this farming lark🤨👍

Autumn is nearly over in the Haut-Beyleron region. It’s the first week of November and the leaves are golden. I’ve been filling in time working for other farmers as I wait for my crop of Soya Beans to ripen. My equipment list has grown as I reinvested my earnings to widen the range of work I can do with my own equipment. I bought a Lemken cultivator and put that to work as an alternative to ploughing when there are no fertilizer jobs…

The nights are drawing in and the sun rises later each day. I start and finish in the dark most days now…

…with the moon and the tractor lights to help me see as I clean off the equipment.

I’ve also tried my hand at sowing some wheat for a neighbour using hired equipment…

…A chance to try out one of the John Deere tractors and a Kuhn seeder combo. I decided that this job option wasn’t as well paying as I’d like but I will be trying my hand at some harvesting for neighbours too – hopefully that will have a better pay-to-time balance.

Finally, my beans are ready to harvest…

… so I buy myself the only harvester I can afford – the ancient New Holland TX32…

…and I set about harvesting the crop…

…It’s not a huge harvest but it’s a start. Prices are not very good at this time of the year…

…so although I need money, I’ve taken advantage of the railway company’s storage. I’ll sell next year in June or July.

Parking is becoming a difficulty now with tractor, trailer, plough, cultivator, spreader and harvester – the TX32 is going to have to sit on the grass between the trees over winter…

Meanwhile I need to carry on doing chores for the neighbours and the cycle continues into the start of winter. Work late…

…and start early…

This was an update on my farm in Haut-Beyleron. As you can see, the farm now has a name – Old Oak Farm in English😎 As I play, I’m learning how FS22 differs from FS19 in some areas that are not immediately apparent. I think the financial situation for players starting from scratch is harder and the cost of repairs to your equipment seems to ratchet up quickly. The tractor is only 3-months old but it can be quite expensive to repair – I had one bill for over €2000. I’ve found it best to repair often as this keeps the bills manageable. At the moment I’m working towards buying another field with space for a shed but making the money is proving a struggle. If you don’t want to grind away at the game I think you should start in New Farmer or Farm Manager mode as these will be easier. That’s my update for now. More from Ferme du Vieux Chêne soon 👍