I set the scene with a story and I was going to continue the tale. I prepared lots of screenshots to illustrate it too. Then I made the decision to install a mod called Seasons…

I should have done this a while back but I was busy playing through my Oak Glen Farm series and enjoying myself. I should really have done it before starting on a new map. But I didn’t and hindsight is a wonderful thing! I tried Seasons out in a different save slot and the effect of seeing the farm in the early spring was mesmerising – to see the land laid bare at the end of winter’s chill. I think that sold me on the idea. But Seasons also drags the game into a much more realistic state, taking control of the growth cycle and much more to bring an experience for the player that is much closer to the trials of real world farming. At least that’s what it says on the tin 🙂 I shall be finding out on Boundary Farm.

When you start a new map save with Seasons enabled you are presented with the bare landscape of early March. There are no crops in any of the fields with the exception of a few that have withered – everything else has been harvested. It’s a time to start preparing your fields for sowing. If you read my original description of the start point on the Six Ashes map and GBModding’s challenge you’ll know that there was equipment to be sold and a crop to harvest. With Seasons installed the equipment is still there but your crop is now a field of stubble. That changes the priorities – Starting out this time I won’t be needing a harvester immediately and there we hit the ‘Continuity error’ for my story as initially told in my last post. With money tight, I’m not about to spend on an item I don’t yet need when my priority will be getting the equipment I need to sow the next crop. So you can forget about the TX32 harvester – it didn’t happen 😉

Lets take a look at the farmyard and buildings with Seasons installed……you can still see the junk and the old equipment in these shots and get a clear impression of the state of the yard at the start of the game. It’s fair to say it’s a mess!

As in my story post, I got the junk cleared and sold all the equipment with the exception of the Strautmann trailer and the Kuhn Subsoiler – the latter now having an immediate use! As before I bought the New Holland T6.155. Instead of buying a harvester and, as a direct result of the short period of gameplay experience I now have on this map, I prioritised clearing the area of the farmyard – removing the bushes and cutting back some of the trees. For that task I needed a Chainsaw and a Flail Mower. Here’s the Ino 270 Elite attached to the tractor ready to remove those bushes……and here we are at work – the yard is looking clearer already!..…Then it was time to hack at the trees with the Chainsaw before deploying a stump-grinder – the Biobeltz UM300……to remove any last vestiges of wood. I bought both items rather than hiring as I will probably need to do some more clearing in future.

Unlike Spinney Field in Oak Glen Farm, this wasn’t a mass hack down of the trees – just removal of the low growth that was getting in the way of moving equipment around the yard. I loaded the wood into the Strautmann……and took it to the Sawmill……Where I was pleasantly surprised by a £2700 payout – that’s covered the cost of the stump-grinder! That trailer is filthy – so on the way back I bought a washer to keep the equipment clean.

Where does that leave my story? I think it will have to be untold (unless little bits creep in here and there). The Six Ashes map has only been out for 12 days. This is my first time playing FS19 with Seasons installed. Who knows what little bugs / problems I may experience? I think there may be too many variables to allow me to tell a convincing tale. So I’ll be more in the play-through mode as I continue on Boundary Farm – Sorry to those readers who like a story. Now I’d better get on with preparing my field 🙂

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.

In my last post from the farm, I was heading up to my freshly purchased field with an equally new Claas harvester.  So now I’ll tell you about the harvesting of the barley crop we bought with the field.

I hauled the header up the lane behind the harvester but, as mentioned in the first post, things are tight around entrances to fields.  So, at the entrance I uncoupled the header trailer and then reversed the Tucano into a handy track.  The tractor was then brought up from the farm with the trailer which was the uncoupled in the lane.  I could then use the tractor to move the header to a more suitable position for the harvester to hook up……Here we are hooked up and ready at the entrance to the field to make a start on harvesting……The first task is to create an open area on this side of the field so that the tractor and trailer can drive in ready for when the harvester is full. Looking at an aerial image on google maps, it seems this is exactly what the real life farmer does too! Here’s our beach-head with the tractor on the land ready to unload the harvester…

After the initial clearing cut, I can then proceed around the field in any way I like. The crop will produce around 2.5 trailer loads of barley. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the prices that the various businesses in game will pay for my barley as these vary over time. Here’s a screen that shows the various crop types in game and their symbols……and here’s the current prices……You can see that the best payment for barley is £559 but Willow Brook Stores’ offer is going up – neither represents a good return. With ample silo space on the farm, I can choose to store the crop and wait for the offer to improve and that is what I am going to do. Here’s the Arion dropping off a load at the farm silos……By the time I finished the harvesting the price was up to £615 and still climbing, so I’m going to wait some more 🙂

Here’s the last load going into the trailer……and then we can decouple the header and tow it back down to the farm……where the harvester can be parked up in the large shed…

In future harvesting operations I hope to have a second smaller tractor that will tow the header to and from the fields. I will be talking about buying that tractor, getting our Chickens and some of my other plans in the next post. In the meantime we’re left with a field full of straw that needs lime and to be ploughed before I can plant another crop.