A lot has happened here since my last post from Boundary Farm. The Barley seed in my field is still dormant with the soil temperature stubbornly staying at 4 degrees. It’s now the end of April and I’m hoping that the first week of May will bring a warming of the soil so the seeds can germinate. The trees are in full leaf and hide much of my farm yard from passing planes…

…My field (51) is on the left of the screen and you can see the farmhouse (marked on the minimap in the corner) top right of centre. In the foreground to the left of the trees is the main barn. And you can just see the trailer and cultivator peaking through the trees on the right.

You may notice that field 42 has a green number on the map – I’ve been spending my hard earned cash and in the last few days of April I bought that field. Boundary Farm now straddles the parish boundary! I quickly sowed Canola (Rape) just before the window for planting that crop ended. Once again – I just hope the soil warms enough for the seed to germinate. It’s an anxious time 😦

Doing all that work for other farmers is making me lots of money. But it’s also hard on the equipment. The wear and tear is showing on my New Holland with paint missing from many of the mechanical parts…

I decided to buy another tractor to spread the load – something a little less powerful but suited to transport jobs and other light work such as crop spraying. Talking of which, I also wanted a crop sprayer because fertilizing and weed killing will be next on the daily work agenda! I bought the sprayer first as weeds had just started to appear in my field and I needed to nip that situation in the bud! You can see it on the right in the barn – I’ll show a closer shot later.

I went to the dealership with a detailed shopping requirement for the tractor. It should be able to fit wheel weights and a front loader. Narrow tyres should be an option and the horsepower should be 80HP plus. Preferably it should be cheap too 😉 I did think about the New Holland T4 – jokingly referred to as Baby Blue – but it didn’t take wheel weights. The T5 does but was too expensive. I would have liked to buy the Massey-Ferguson 390T but again, no wheel weights. Their 3000 series met all the criteria and I could have opted for the 3070 option which has a 95hp engine but I’m trying to use a lot of different equipment on this map and we drove the 3090 version of that tractor a lot on Oak Glen Farm. The Valtra A series was considered but discarded because, although it does have wheel weights, they are insufficiently heavy to prevent the tractor tipping when trying to lift a 2000l pallet load of Herbicide (I found that out while testing on West Newton Farm)! The Valtra N was ruled out as too expensive while the G didn’t have the weights or narrow tyres. So, in the end I chose to buy a Lamborghini…

…That’s the Nitro which has a 100hp engine and it fits all my requirements very well for a total price of £75k. Now I can pose on Bond Street with the other cruisers 😉 It’s quite amusing to see it next to the New Holland T6 because it has much larger wheels and they look almost the same size as a result.

The new tractor was put straight to work with transport jobs…

…There’s three 2000l pallets there – it didn’t even wobble lifting those 🙂 Then we did some fertilizing on contract for other farms – with the narrow tyres on for those jobs where a crop had been planted…

…The sprayer is the Caruelle Nicolas Stilla 460, which holds 4600l of either fertilizer or herbicide. It is available as a mod through the modhub. Again, I wanted to try a different piece of equipment, having opted for the Hardi Mega 2200 every time in the past. A towed sprayer allows for greater capacity which is handy given that some of these fields are quite large. The working width of this one is 28m – an average width among sprayers as they cover between 15m and 36m depending on the boom length. This is what it looks like when folded for transport…

…It’s a lovely, hazy morning looking down the valley 🙂

More from Boundary Farm in a future post and we’ll be looking at another Farm map too 🙂

Sunday was the day of decisions in Farming Simulator 19. I was up early after entertaining family visitors the previous afternoon/evening and took advantage of a quiet house to do some in-depth looking at my map options. I mentioned 3 possible maps. The first is Marwell Manor Farm which is our Hampshire option and another map by OxygenDavid – author of the Oakfield Farm map on which I was playing Oak Glen Farm. I ruled this one out early because if you are playing in any mode other than New Farmer the buildings are removed which I think is unrealistic – it’s also why I don’t like playing on the maps supplied with the game. Additionally, the pricing of the land strongly pushes you down the road of playing the main farm. I may play this map in New Farmer mode sometime in the future as the scenery is excellent. The other options I had in mind were Six Ashes in Shropshire and West Newton Farm in Ayrshire.

West Newton Farm is a very interesting option. It is the first map by NM Modding and is reputedly a model of his uncle’s farm and the surrounding area. On this map the main farm comes with a lot of equipment, some of it in good condition and some needing repair. The modelling of the land is pretty good, especially as this is a first attempt. I looked at some different land purchase options to start on this map but all that equipment at the main farm becomes the elephant in the room. If you start elsewhere you would probably either sell that equipment (which would be unrealistic as it’s not really yours) or leave it there until you buy the main farm later on. So this map too is auto-suggesting that you should start at the main farm 😉 The only issue for me is that the main farm is a dairy farm and I’m not really wanting to be farming Heilan Coos just now. I will definitely have a go at this map in the future though.

So that leaves us with Six Ashes – a brand new map that released just a few days ago. The map is located along the A458 with the hamlet of Wooton near its centre……and the author, GBModding, has given us a challenge :-

“Welcome To Six Ashes.
You have just been left a house and small overgrown yard with limited equipment and money by your late grandfather.
You will need to clear the yard to get at some of the machinery.
Can you build the farm into a profitable business and even extend into one of the nearby farms?”

If you decide to take on the challenge you will be buying this plot of land……which comes with some run-down equipment, a small barn with lean-to, a silo and workshop. There is a farmhouse too (which in real life is called Wooton Farm House). After buying the land (if you’re playing in Start from Scratch mode) you’ll have £264k left to buy equipment or repair the existing machinery. You can sell the old items if you want and that will boost your money up to around £350k. The good news is that the one field you get has a good crop that’s ready to harvest. The bad news is – It’s a very big field for small equipment!

There are other options of course, for example Pine View Farm……with its small fields and very cramped yard. You will have more money in the bank but a quick look at this option convinced me that you’d need to buy some more land and build a bigger barn for equipment and a silo for storage not long down the road of owning this one, especially as it has a piggery! There are three other farm options but as two are beyond the Start from Scratch budget and the other wouldn’t leave enough money for equipment, I have to rule those out. Two of them would be good options for the Farm Manager mode and the largest one is probably best played only in New Farmer mode.

So – I’ve accepted the challenge and have my grandfather’s farm at the crossroads on Duken Lane. Unlike Pine View Farm across the way, it doesn’t have an in-game name so I’m going to call it ‘Boundary Farm’ as Duken Lane forms the Parish Boundary and I suspect I’ll be owning fields on both sides of the road. Boundary Farm will be the title for my new Farming Simulator 19 series which should start appearing tomorrow.

A while ago I did a post about Farming Simulator 19 called Growing Pains. The intention was that it would become the basis of a new series but events got in the way. This post is a restart of that series but with the benefit of some useful hours playing the game. In the interim period the Platinum upgrade to the game has arrived bringing Claas tractors and harvesters to the fields. I have also had time to look at some of the many mods available for this game and I’ve tried out a few of them. There’s a part of me that wasn’t entirely happy with the maps supplied with the game – I really wanted to be farming in the UK. With that in mind, I spent some time looking at map mods and I have selected one of these for this series in which I hope you will get to see my start from scratch as a farm manager.

The map I have chosen is Oakfield Farm – a mod by Oxygendavid. The author has produced a couple of maps based on real English farms, one in Hampshire and this one in Gloucestershire. The mapview is straight from Google Maps with crop overlays. Buildings are lovingly modelled and although some alterations have been made to their purpose in order to facilitate gameplay, the atmosphere of the area has been very well captured. Here is the map……The player spawns in Oakfield Farm down in the bottom left corner (the green dot) and is greeted by a Spitfire flypast 🙂 You have the choice of buying any of the parcels of land on the map including Oakfield Farm. This map differs from the ingame maps in that choosing to start as Farm Manager does not remove the buildings – when you buy a farm, you get all the existing infrastructure minus the machinery and animals. To me this is more realistic as, in the real world, you’d be buying a farm with everything there. From a gameplay point of view this might have made Farm Manager a bit too easy but the author has countered the issue by making land purchase expensive.

Oakfield Farm is a Dairy and Wool farm – you can tell by the pasture land surrounding it. There is another farm near the top of the map on the right of the main road that bisects the map on a north-south line. This is Oak Glen Farm and it is a Pigs, Chickens and Arable farm……That’s the farm I’ve bought and this series will be centred around. Lets have a look at the buildings – here beside the entrance are sheds suitable for storing small equipment……The farm has grain silos and more sheds suitable for larger equipment on a higher level……Here’s the Piggery……and finally, the free-range Chicken run…

So, I have a farm but no fields, equipment or animals. Now I have to decide what to do with it. I think initially I should buy a field so that I can grow crops. But I also want to get into livestock. Pigs will eat me out of house and home so I’ll ignore that Piggery for now. However, Chickens are easy to keep and Eggs will give a good return once the flock has grown to a large number of birds. With that in mind I look at the available local fields and field 29 looks like a good option for me (you can check it on the original map). There’s a bonus in buying that field too – it has a crop of Barley in it that is just ready to harvest. Chickens eat Barley so I can save some of the crop in the silos for my flock! I bought that field which left me with £793k for equipment and Chickens.

In order to perform my first harvest I’m going to need a Tractor, trailer and Harvester. I’ve tried a number of the ingame tractors and a few mods while experimenting with the game. There are several tractors I like but for this farm I’m going with the Claas Arion 650 which has a 185HP engine……This will be the main farming tractor. I will buy a smaller tractor for general work later. For harvesting, I’m going to splash the cash. I could have gone with the Massey Ferguson Activa 7347 or the John Deere T560 but I’ve decided that the extra capacity and engine power of the Claas Tucano is worth the extra money – I’ve noted that there are some steep fields in this area!…

With the other essential items – Harvester Header (to cut the crop), weight for the tractor and a trailer that fits my needs, there is just £220k left of the starting £1,250k in the bank. Oh! and I also bought a trailer to carry the Harvester Header – that was something that I didn’t need on the game map. You could drive around with the header attached to the harvester – you can’t do that on this map and here’s why……it just won’t fit up the country lanes or even on the main A-Road! This is on the road leading up the side of the valley to my field and you can see the silos of my farm behind on the right and get a first impression of the rolling nature of the countryside we’ll be farming 🙂

That’s all for this post. Next time we’ll be harvesting that field.