It’s August in Osada… The height of the harvest season but also a time for preparing fields for the next crop – will I cope or will something sneak under the radar?

1st week of August and fields 1 & 2 are green with Oilseed Radish…

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…I’ll need to find time to plough that crop in ready for sowing – I’m planning on Winter Barley for these two fields. Fields, 3, 12 and 14 all have crops ready to harvest. Those will be my priority before turning my attention to neighbours fields. I sorted out field 3 first…

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…Then field 14, then finally field 12. I got a nice load of Sorghum from that field…

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All of my harvested grain went to the silo for future sale when the prices have increased. Harvesting done, I attacked the cultivating in field 1 to finish off the week…

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…Field 2 was going to have to wait for the second week.

Week 2 and now I was able to help out with contracts for other farmers – here’s a Sorghum crop I’m harvesting in field 32…

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…that was one of three fields harvested that week which brought in some good money. But I still had some unfinished business in my own fields. With rain forecast for the weekend I was working late baling the straw…

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…before taking it in darkness to the biomass plant…

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…80 bales between fields 3 and 14 – that earned me over โ‚ฌ4k ๐Ÿ˜Ž

The 3rd week was more of the same – harvesting for neighbours. But I also picked up a cultivating job…

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…which I combined with cultivating field 12.

Harvesting continued in the 4th week of August and this time I was cutting Oats in field 41…

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…and Wheat in field 71. I closed out the week with some improvement work on field 12 – it came with a lot of large stones, so I bought a stone-bucket and set to work clearing them…

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…They weigh a lot, so I had to be careful when tipping them into the trailer…

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That covers the August activities on the farm but as usual it doesn’t tell all the story. There’s all the pre-planning / musings that go on in the background: –

My target fields – ones I’d like to own – increased. Having worked field 41, I can see the benefit of owning that field as well as field 40 – they’re both easily accessed along the track behind my yard. I also have some fields that I don’t want – in some cases that’s because they will be hard to work but in a lot of cases it’s because they provide regular work for me and the additional income is very helpful.

The yard is now overflowing and I wonder how long it will be before my grain storage reaches capacity. There are a couple of options to expand the yard and the storage for crops and machinery. The first is to buy the land adjacent to my existing plot and knock down the sheds, replacing them with silos and a more open-plan shed for machinery. The second is to build on the grass field in my existing plot, possibly removing a couple of the trees from the boundary along with the fence to allow access. Then fencing the area with an access point to the lane at the back. This latter option has cost advantages although it would result in losing my income from Haymaking. It would also put Sheep farming on hold but I could possibly do Chickens instead. Lots of thinking going on…

Oh! and did I mention that I’ll be able to afford a planter come Spring for Corn and Sunflowers – I just need to prepare fields 12 and 14 for those crops. I think field 3 may get sunflowers too ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘

September will be a little quieter but I’ll still have a bit to do ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ‘Œ

Early Crop Harvests – June and July

This is the time when the overwintering crops ripen – Winter Barley…

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… Wheat and Canola. With only โ‚ฌ8k in the bank, I’m going to need to do as many harvesting contracts as I can, especially in the first 2 weeks of each month. Barley first then๐Ÿ‘ Job followed job – there was a large field to harvest over by the old mill…

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The new trailer was proving to be a very good purchase, halving the number of trips to the delivery point for each harvest and thus making time to fit in more work each week…

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I really like the animations on this mod – very smooth operation๐Ÿ‘

The work continued in the same vein through the second week of June, though the jobs were starting to dry up. I sold my stored Soya Beans which brought in โ‚ฌ13k. Come the 3rd week and I found myself at a loose end so I made hay…

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…The Canola in field 1 is looking good – I’ll be harvesting that next month. I baled the hay and took it to the biomass energy plant in the last week of June…

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July brings the Canola harvest, including my own – Fields 1&2 were duly harvested as if they were a single field…

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…While I stored my Canola to sell later in the year, the contracts for neighbours were going straight to the grain transporter. The second week of July saw the turn of the over wintering Wheat. I had already completed two harvests by the middle of the week when one of the largest fields popped up as a contract. It was worth working late to get that field done…

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…as it put me in touch of purchasing one of my target fields. I could now afford field 15 and I almost had enough money to buy field 12 – the question was, which one. The logical partner for field 14 is field 15. However, there is a problem…

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…Field 15 has a crop of Sugar Beet. I don’t currently have the machinery to harvest Beet. I could hire the machinery but it’s very expensive. Alternatively, I could plough in the crop which would fertilize the land ready for my next crop. I don’t really like ploughing in crops, other than catch crops grown for the purpose. For this reason, I ruled out buying field 15 for the time being.

To kick off the second week of July I took a couple of cultivating jobs further up the hill above my farm…

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…The first of these – field 27 on the right – took me over the threshold to afford field 12. The second – field 36 on the left – put a little spare cash in the bank. I purchased field 12 knowing that I’d have to scrape together some more contract work to keep afloat until the beginning of August. At least it comes with a Sorghum crop that will be ready to harvest soon.

There is a problem with choosing field 12. Although it is right next to field 14, it’s actually a much larger field and fully capable of producing a good sized crop on its own. So for the time being, field 14 will continue to be a small field that stands alone until I can pair it with field 15. I guess that’s my next field purchase planned for me!

To finish off the month of July, I prepared fields 1 & 2 for their next crop, cultivating them and then sowing Oilseed Radish to pre-fertilize…

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…and I took a short trip up the lane to check out the crops in fields 12 and 14…

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…They’ll be ready to harvest soon enough – August promises to be a busy month! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Spring in Osada – March to May.

March was a quiet month with little work for other farmers – I did get to sow some Wheat for a neighbour early in the 1st week and then I turned my attention to field 14. I sowed Oats in this field – A fast growing crop that will be ready to harvest in mid-Summer…

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…The shoots were through just two weeks later. I checked but there were no weeds growing. Weeds are an issue. I have decided to invest in a weeder – It will be better than spraying if I catch the weeds in time and it will also allow me to take weeding work for other farmers. But first I need to make some money๐Ÿ˜… Fertilising jobs to the rescue! I picked up several of these throughout March and into April. Here I am one early morning in the third week of March heading off to do another fertilising job…

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…and passing one of the villagers out for a constitutional๐Ÿ˜Ž I noted during this flurry of activity that every โ‚ฌ1400 spent on fertilizer earns just over โ‚ฌ3000 so there’s around โ‚ฌ1600 profit in each purchase and usually enough left over to cover my own fertilizer needs too๐Ÿ‘

Things quietened down again in mid-April and I decided to mow the grass in my meadow…

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…making hay and taking that to sell at the biomass plant…

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The weeding jobs started to appear in the last week of April and I bought a John Deere 825 for โ‚ฌ5600. It will take a year or so to fully pay for itself, but I made a good start on recouping the cost…

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Technically, this is a row-crop cultivator designed to remove weeds between the rows like in the field of Sunflowers above. However, in-game, it can do all sorts of weeding jobs – the game doesn’t differentiate. This is at odds with ploughing contracts where you have to use a plough despite being able to use a Subsoiler for ploughing tasks on your own fields!

Several jobs to mow grass popped into the queue but they were all silage jobs and as I don’t have a bale wrapper, I left them alone. Finally, in the 3rd week of May, a Haymaking job appeared for Field 53. It was a big field – definitely a whole week’s work, possibly longer. However, it was paying over โ‚ฌ6k and that means a total payout of over โ‚ฌ8k once any extra bales harvested are taken into account. I decided it was ‘head down and go for it’ time! The Zetor 6245 did the Mowing…

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…Tedding and Windrowing. Then the John Deere 4240 stepped in to handle the baling…

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It was while doing this job that I realised it was time to think about trailers. A dedicated bale trailer would speed up the final task of haymaking a lot – bringing easier loading and allowing more bales to be transported in one trip. The money made from this job would pay for that trailer!

So I bought a John Deere 1075 Hay Wagon for โ‚ฌ8k and it went straight to work on this job – here we are with all the bales loaded late in the evening…

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…One trip instead of four!

Last week of May and, having made the decision to get a dedicated bale trailer, I followed through with more transport changes. Here goes the heavy old trailer on its final trip to the dealer…

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…Even the JD struggles up the hill with it. I sold it and bought a Fliegl trailer as a replacement…

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That’s made a big dent in my finances! Fortunately I have some Soya Beans to sell next month when the price is good. Also, the harvest season is not far away when the benefits of having a larger but lighter trailer will be realised – halving my trips to the delivery point๐Ÿ‘

We’re ready for summer now and it’s nice to walk up to field 14 and look across the valley – enjoying the beautiful scene…

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Sometimes, things happen in my gameplay almost without warning. A set of job opportunities can trigger a decision to act there and then as in the case of the weeder and bale trailer purchases in this period. It would be wrong to conclude that they happen without any pre-action thought – I’ve usually had a particular action planned in advance. You may recall I mentioned a need to replace the trailer in the previous post. While some changes happen suddenly, others are a long time in the planning (or maybe plotting would be a better word?). I’m still looking to expand into another field. Although field 40 remains the long-term aim, either of the fields flanking field 14 would be a good next purchase, allowing me to double up the crop regime rather like I am now doing in fields 1 & 2. Then there is the purchase of a planter to allow me to start growing Sunflowers and Corn. Finally, I have another possible future project – Sheep. I am considering using a section of my grass meadow for a pen. Here’s what I’m planning…

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…The pen could hold up to 30 Sheep and the area that is left could be used to provide hay for winter feeding. Of course, I might need to buy another grass field if the food supply proved to be insufficient. I think that’s a long time in the future of Osada๐Ÿ˜‰