Carpe Diem! – Not sure if that’s the right turn of phrase? I was keeping an eye on prices as usual and I noted that the Silage price was climbing quite quickly. It was already over the £350 level that I view as a prepare to harvest and sell Silage from my grass fields. So I harvested field 32 and the grass behind the chicken coop……The price was still climbing! It was time to drop everything else because it looked like that price was going to top £400 and it presented a great opportunity to earn a lot of money. With the bales from the first two areas loaded on the wagon and parked close to the sell point, I checked the state of the grass in my recently sown Field 4. That was also ready to harvest and although I’d have preferred to leave it a bit longer to get a better crop, I decided to cut and bale that field too. By the time I’d done that the price was on £400 and still showing as rising. I decided to fertilize the other grass fields while I waited. By the time I’d done that the price had finally stabilised at £403 per 1000l of Silage. Time to sell!!! Here’s the Fendt arriving back at my farm with the second load of bales from field 4…

The profit from the Silage was over £35k and suddenly I could afford to buy field 13 – which just happens to be full of ‘ready to harvest’ grass! So I bought the field that I’ve had my eye on for a while and rushed off to harvest it……There was a huge amount of grass here and it took a while to cut and prepare for baling……Ultimately I made 26 bales and had to transport them in two trips using the Anderson RBM2000…

All that Baling activity, including the straw bales from the earlier harvest earnt me over £87k! So as the day drifted towards evening I found myself in the position of having £80K despite having bought field 13 for £113k. Taking advantage of the exceptional price circumstances has really boosted my farm.

I went to field 14 East and sowed Oats……then I took the decision to buy a seeder for Sunflowers and Corn – the Horsch Maestro 8RC……Field 14 West has now been sown with my first crop of Sunflowers 🙂

The next tasks are to prepare the original field for the next crop and then to plough two new fields in the existing field 13. I really must consider naming my fields because the numbers lack character. I think field 4 will become Spinney Field and field 32 should be Triangle Field. I’ll see what I come up with for the others 🙂 Stay safe everyone and hopefully I’ll have some Sunflowers to share next time 🙂

Lots of work being done on the farm and a couple of unintended purchases see my working balance stable at around £110k. The first of these purchases was a weeder – the Einbock Aerostar-Rotation 1200, which as you might guess clears a 12m swathe of weeds at a time. Early in game I chose to do my weed removal using the Hardi sprayer that I have shared images of in action. The reason for choosing to buy that first was the nature of weeds – the pesky varmints can show up on your fields at any stage of crop growth and herbicide can be used to remove them at any time. A Weeder however can only be used before the crops get to their second growth stage so if you can only afford one means of dealing with weeds, herbicide is the way to go. With stable income now assured on my farm, I can afford to add a weeder and that in turn means I can take jobs from other farmers that specify using a weeder. Here it is unfolding for just such a job for Mason in field 36……and ripping out the weeds……The weeder requires 130HP, so the Fendt Favorit will handle it. Job finished and weeder folded up I head back across Field 13 and I can see that my crops in 14 are ready to be harvested……So that’s going to be my next task.

Field 14W turned in just over 17000l of Canola……but the price wasn’t as good as I would like so that went to the Silo at the farm to be sold when things improve. 14E produced just over 13000l of Wheat, most of which went straight to Empire Stores for a good price with a small quantity held back to feed the Chickens – overall profit from that field, including the straw collected after harvesting, was over £16k. The Oats in Field 4 were also ready and, again including straw, returned over £10k. This was a very good return from a small field but the harvesting was very tricky with such an irregular edge, so I have decided to return that field to grass for hay and silage production. To that end I prioritised, fertilizing, cultivating and sowing field 4 before working on any of the others. Here we are in Field 4 – the sowing is complete……that’s field 36, where we were weeding earlier, beyond the hedge. I limed both the fields in plot 14 and harrowed the lime in ready for fertilizing. Lime is an expensive necessity that fortunately only has to be done every 3 harvests. That was the end of my in-game day. Early to bed for an early start harvesting our original field next day.

Sun up and back to work…..harvesting the Barley crop. This produced a huge amount of straw – 21 bales. I decided that I really needed to cut back on the number of journeys when I do have a lot of bales to shift. So that other new purchase mentioned at the start was the Anderson RBM 2000. This cost £50k but I was able to get £26k back on the Ursus T-127 bale trailer so the net cost was £24k. It’s a great bit of kit capable of carrying 24 bales at a time. Here we are collecting the straw bales after the harvest……and loaded up ready to take them for sale……That’s 6K earnt from something I don’t have a use for 🙂 Last task for this post was fertilizing the plot 14 fields ready for our next crops. I was able to tie that in with fertilizing field 36 for Mason which earned me over £8k after buying some fertilizer. Looks like he has a good crop of corn growing there – a harvesting contract for that could be a good excuse for me to buy a corn header 😉 Something to think about. And I need to think about another field to buy – Field 13 could be back on the agenda 🙂

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?