A good night’s sleep (irl as well as in-game) brought some clarity of thought. The additional cost of buying the Claas Axion or John Deere 6250R for a few extra horses does not make sense. The 280HP Massey-Ferguson 7726 will handle all of our current equipment and most future upgrades except in the case of ploughs. But to see a real increase in ploughed width would take a lot more than 300HP anyway. So I saved myself some money and bought the Massey. With the money I saved I was able to sell my 2.5m AgroMasz plough and replace it with a 3.0m Lemken VariOpal 8.

The Massey went straight to work cultivating both our recently harvested fields down by Coberley. During this work I found an escape from our harvesting work the previous night……so I called up the Massey 3090 to collect the errant bale and that gave a photo opportunity of the 2 Massey’s together……Cultivating on the steep section of 14 west showed the benefits of the extra horsepower over the Fendt’s 150HP with the Massey 7726 romping up the hill at the full rated speed for the AgroMasz BTC50H. With cultivating done, I dropped off the harrow and picked up the seeder. Again, the task was handled with ease……14 West is growing Canola while 14 east has Wheat, some of which will be used to stock up the supply for the Chickens.

The other decision I took was to sow a crop in our newly expanded field 4. But first it has to be ploughed. Here’s the pretty blue Lemken VariOpal 8……looking at a pristine field of grass – we’ve got to plough that lot in! And here we are a while later……Job done.

The Fendt still has an important role to play, in this case applying lime to the field……but also Fertilizing and applying Herbicide when necessary. The 7726 completed the cultivation and sowing of field 4. I’ve opted for Oats in this field and we’ll see what sort of return we get. Here’s the map of the fields in the area with their various crops……My fields are relatively small compared with most of the ones owned by other farmers but we’re gradually growing 🙂

That’s all for this post – Lets see what a new week brings 🙂

We’re pressing on – maybe that’s the wrong term as we’re not growing grapes? But we are chasing around trying to keep our head above the crops and build our bank balance. Before expanding field 4, I needed to take down a couple more trees. That was accomplished quickly. Here’s the stump-grinder in action, removing the last remnants of them……I hate chopping down trees, so I’m glad that is over and done. I have planted a tree in a gap between the others that I left to form a field boundary.

Tragically, I have a real world equivalent that I’m currently dealing with. As a result of a series of dry summers, our Rowan tree is causing structural damage by taking all of the water from the soil under the house. That means it will have to be felled. I spoke to a tree surgeon earlier today and he will be coming on Sunday to check out the tree and give me a quote. It feels like I’m murdering a member of the family and I am more than a little fed up with the world at present 😦

I knuckled down and prepared the field opposite the farm. I couldn’t believe that it needed Lime – that means we’ve had 3 crops from that field and in game terms for me I believe that is a first! Never stuck with a farm-sim save so long – says that this map has given the sense of involvement I need to really enjoy the game! So I spread the Lime……Harrowed the ground to cultivate, fertilized it and sowed a crop of Soy Beans. I’ll add those to my existing harvest sitting in the silo at the farm before selling.

Last post I mentioned the Grass harvest still sitting in field 4 – we got on and did that……producing 10 silage bales……Now that field is ready to be ploughed and expanded into the newly opened up areas. But that raises another dilema for me; I had planned to sow grass and continue to use the field to produce silage, but I’m also looking at this field as another for crop production. It really is a difficult choice because when you put the costs behind growing crops against the simple fertilize-harvest cycle of a grass silage field, there is very little to choose profit-wise. I may decide to do a crop here first and sow 14 East with Grass to see how that costs in.

The Barley in 14 West ripened while I was doing those other chores so I spent the late afternoon harvesting……and then baling the Straw which I sold to the Stables…

So now I have £260k in the bank and I can afford that more powerful tractor to handle ploughing and some of the heavier jobs that the Fendt needs a rest from. I’ve narrowed it down to 3 contenders. The Massey-Ferguson 7726 at 280HP….., the Claas Axion 870 at 295HP……or the John Deere 6250R at 300HP……Each will allow me to use a slightly wider plough – .5 of a metre wider.. Whoopy-Do!! But whichever I choose to buy, it’ll spread the load, allowing the Fendt to remain in use along with the Massey 3090. Anyone out there want to suggest which I should go for?

Somehow I found myself with two crops approaching maturity at the same time – it seems that the maturation cycle is longer for Soy Beans than for Wheat. Although I could have guessed at that in the real world, I hadn’t realised that it happens in game. Additionally, both crops had areas of their field that were less mature. In game terms that means waiting for all parts of the field to be ripe which narrows the window for harvesting by a crop-growth cycle. In those circumstances, I decided that I couldn’t tie myself up in other farmers contracts for the time being. Instead I pushed on with my field 4 project – it’s time to surgically remove some trees.

As mentioned in the previous post, the idea is to expand the field and thus increase my grass production for silage / hay. I made a start on the north side of the field, leaving the shrubbed area near the gate but cutting in further along. The amount of space available for use behind the trees is immediately apparent……however, I did find a couple of old hedges in amongst the trees that hint at old field boundaries and I’ve decided to leave those in place. I’m also leaving the trees closest to the current field boundaries.

Removing trees in a proper forestry setting is something that you can get specialist machinery for and if I was farming on a Scandinavian map, for example, one aspect of my farming might include using such machines. But Gloucestershire is very much arable farming country so I’m using a chainsaw to chop down the trees and cut them into transportable pieces of timber. The Massey 3090 is hauling the wood away in the Metaltech trailer……From previous experience I know that the log-forks are useless to picking up downed trees, so I’m using a manure fork which works a lot better. The one piece of specialist equipment I have bought is a stump grinder. After taking away the first couple of trees, the field already looks a lot bigger when seen from the road……The project will continue over the next couple of days with the wood being sold to boost imcome temporarily.

As with the last harvest, my two crops became fully ready in the late evening – around 21:00 so we did a night harvest in both fields. My Soy beans went into one of our farm silos as the current price is not very good. 17000l of Wheat was kept in the Metaltech TB20 trailer overnight as I kept an eye on the prices. A residue of of around 1600l in the harvester went to the Chickens. The flock is growing – there are now 54 hens – and there is a steady flow of eggs. The Seven Springs Inn needed some of those and at over £4 a litre, I took a box of 150l there first thing the next morning to get a nice £612 for very little work 🙂

With the sun up I found prices for Wheat still volatile, but the main farm was again offering a very good price for silage – I guess their Cows need some more Total Mix Ration. So it was time to sell off the remaining 23 silage bales from my stock……that’s close on £34k earnt, which is why field 4 needs expanding! Mid-morning and with the offers for Wheat stable, I sold my crop at Hill Top Stores for close on £13k. I’ve also collected the Straw Swath from the wheat and sold that

Funds are improving and although my main next purchase is a more powerful tractor, I have splashed out on a workshop facility for my farm to stop the regular trips to the dealer for maintenance and to change between narrow and normal tyres. It’s a cheap open shed but it’ll do……A quick note on adding buildings to farms. The price of the building is quoted at the shop – In this case £7500. But there is a hidden cost that can really hurt you financially. When you place the building, any terraforming required to smooth the land where the building is going will be charged to you as construction costs and on bumpy terrain they can be eye-wateringly high. I had two possible locations for the placement of my workshop and this was the flatter of the two. Even so, the terraforming added nearly £1200 to the cost. If I was building a sheep facility in field 4, which is definitely not flat!, I might well find the cost of the work exceeding the cost of the facility itself and by quite a large margin. It would be nice if the game told you how much cost you are going to incur, but it doesn’t. So, be careful where you place your buildings!

I now have two fields to prepare for their next crops and a crop of Barley approaching maturity in 14 West. I also need to harvest some grass and make a new batch of silage bales. This game certainly likes to keep you busy!!!