While it was raining in late September, I did get some work done – cultivating a neighbour’s field. Then the rains stopped, and I was able to close out the last few days of September by helping another neighbour with his Sorghum harvest.

The first week of October and a bright sunny start to the month. My Barley crop in field 14 was growing nicely and I decided it was time to fertilize…

20220504084920_1

Under the Precision Farming approach, you only apply the amount of fertilizer needed to get the maximum possible crop yield from the underlying soil. Field 14 being split between loam and silty clay allows me to show this. Here’s the loam side of the field…

20220504085202_1

…If you look at the box on the lower right, you can see that I have applied 180kg of fertilizer per hectare. The expected crop yield is 125% and matches the potential yield. On the other side of the field I have applied less fertilizer…

20220504085235_1

…120kg per hectare. The poorer quality soil will only allow a potential yield of 89% and by applying that level of fertilizer I have maximised the potential. Come harvest time, the other half of the field should be giving me 8.2 tonnes per hectare while this side will only give 5.9.

I am left with a question though. Back in the old system of working before the introduction of Precision Farming, we needed to apply two lots of fertilizer separated by different growth stages of the crop. Reading between the lines of what I see at this moment of time on my fields, I will not have to make a second application of fertilizer. I think I will be checking regularly to see if the fertilizing status changes over the growth cycle 🤨

While it was raining back in September, rather than spend all my ‘free time’ playing console games in the garage, I did some forward planning. Here’s the future I have mapped out for the farm.

1, Purchase field 23 – I need to maximise work for neighbours over the autumn and early winter to get the money I need. I currently have €60K in the bank. I will probably need to raise another €100K before I make my move for that field so that I have a working balance after the purchase.

2, Replace the Massey Ferguson 6716S…

20220503150550_1

…At the start of the game this tractor had to do all the work and it’s very rundown now. With the small Massey picking up the lighter work I should be looking to get a new large tractor for the heavy jobs like cultivating and ploughing. Not sure which tractor make yet but I’m probably looking for one that has over 270HP.

3, Replace the New Holland TX-32…

20220504083359_1

…Bought as a stopgap to harvest my first crop, the TX32 has allowed me to take some harvesting jobs for the neighbours too. However, it is slow and has a very narrow cutter head. Additionally, it also has a small grain tank meaning I have to empty into a trailer more often than I would wish. It is also very long compared with more modern designs, so manoeuvring can be a pain. I think I will probably buy another New Holland, but the Claas Tucano is also a possibility.

4, Buy a Planter – I need one of these to be able to sow Sunflowers, Corn and Soya Beans.

5, Replace my current Seeder with a direct-drill type so that I can move to minimal tillage and improve my environmental score.

6, Buy a Stone-Picker – to reduce damage to my other implements.

That’s quite a list and will need a lot of money so don’t expect these changes to happen overnight – it could almost be called a ‘Five-Year Plan’ although I hope it will take less time than that. There is no priority order on most of those purchases though buying Field 23 will come first. Of course, I may never get to complete the planned purchases on Ferme du Vieux Chêne – as anyone who read my posts from Farming Simulator 19 will know, I would really like to be farming on a more realistic and ‘English’ map. I’m just working the Haut-Beyleron map and gaining an understanding of the game while I wait for a suitable mod-map to come along 👍

Time to get back in the tractor. More from Ferme du Vieux Chêne soon 😎

When we left the farm last time, I was completing clearing stones from Field 14 as I continued preparing the soil for the next sowing. I started September by applying Fertilizer to my Canola in Field 17…

20220425181434_1

..If you look in the bottom left corner you can see that the map now gives a useful indication of coverage as you fertilize. It also works for liming but not for weeding.

By the time I returned later that week to sow the Barley in field 14, I was greeted by a sea of weeds! Time to breakout the Weed-Whacker…

20220425143319_1

…fortunately, these small weeds are easy for the Einbock weeder…

20220425171940_1

Weeds back under control, I proceeded to sow my Barley crop…

20220425214700_1

Of course, that stirred up the weeds again, so I had to run the weeder over the field once more🙄

It’s not just weeds and mushrooms that appear overnight…

20220426172857_1

There is now a mobile phone mast on my land! I had to prepare the ground which cost €1300 but the phone company will be paying me €480 per month so it will soon pay for itself👍

Early the following week I applied the roller to field 14 to bed my Barley in. Then the rains came and I had to call a stop to any further work…

20220426212707_1

Looks like the rain is here for the rest of the month…

20220426213155_1

Time to do some stock taking. I sold 4 pallets of Honey for €1600. I have some stored grain,..

20220426173807_1

…Oats and Sorghum, that I can sell when the price is good – probably in November. If it’s going to keep on raining, I guess I can try out those computer games I found 😂..

20220426214710_1

More from Ferme du Vieux Chêne next week 😎👍

As predicted in the previous post, my new Massey Ferguson 5S.105 has been very busy during the first week of May, taking on fertilizing and spraying jobs. One of these was particularly satisfying – fertilizing a field of potatoes…

20220407215026_1

…that I had actually sown for my neighbour 😎 I also handled a number of spraying jobs to kill off weeds…

20220408213704_1

In between, I tried out a John Deere 7R tractor with a Vaderstad seeder on hire for a large sowing job…

20220408182233_1
20220408185349_1

…and my Massey 6716S did a smaller sowing job…

20220411084423_1

…using my Amazone seeder. The Massey 5S could have handled this but I think it’s good to have the extra power in reserve.

My crop of Sorghum came through…

20220408212045_1

…and I applied a second dose of fertilizer…

20220408212338_1

So with both my crops growing well I applied some thought to further changes to the farm. I have already boosted my Solar energy supply by adding a panel by the farmhouse and beside the workshop. Now I need to look to the short and long-term future. I would like to get into livestock on some level in time. I think Chickens are a possible option and eggs do provide reasonable additional income. The one barrier to that is how to transport any Chickens that I buy or sell – there was a mod in FS19, allowing you to transport them in standard animal trailers but that has not ported across yet. I don’t think this map is set up for sheep, cows or pigs – it really does seem more of an arable area. However, there is one form of ‘livestock’ that doesn’t require that you transport anything other than their produce. I decided to use some of my recent earnings to buy an installation of beehives which I have located in the grassy area behind the farmhouse…

20220413171851_1

…If you look closely you may see some of the Bees buzzing off to get nectar and pollen. The honey produced is delivered to a collection area near the farmhouse…

20220413182816_1

…2 crates of honey on the pallet already😀👍

Although I have gone with Bees, I will be adding Chickens at some time in the future. I’m also planning my next farm expansion. A look at the map and I think my next target should be field 20…

20220413172013_1

…So I think I had better start saving up for the €245K that purchase will cost me.

The cycle of buying/collecting consumables…

20220411210010_1
20220411210837_1

…then fertilizing/spraying neighbour’s fields…

20220413180845_1

…will continue through into summer. I will also have some income from my Soya Bean harvest that is stored in the railway company’s silo. The prices are going up now and will soon peak for that crop…

20220413172116_1

I will have to get my own silo soon in case the railway company loses patience with me😉 It’s always ‘spend’ on Ferme du Vieux Chêne but overall, I’m now making a good profit. Until next time – keep your overall’s clean and machinery well oiled 😎👍