I intend to post about this farm one in-game day’s activity at a time. A reminder that each in-game day equates to approximately 10 days in the Seasons Year and that the actual playing time for around 15 hours of ‘daylight’ is approximately 3 hours of irl time. Posts about Boundary Farm will be interspersed – time there is 1 to 1 with irl time although each day also equates to 10 days of whatever month we are playing.

Day 1 – March 1st-10th.

I get a late start because the game starts us at 08:00 rather than at first light. I already have a plan of action and as suggested in my previous post from the Bessy Beneath map, I know that I will be taking out a bank loan. First step was to purchase the Sheep Farm…

I should show you the farm – here’s the Farmhouse with the machinery barn and the bales barn beyond…

…The field behind the house is my grass field and opposite the buildings is my sheep pasture…

To work this I only really need a small tractor with 80-100 HP. I visited the local dealer – conveniently located at the end of the lane from the farm. The dealer is an AGCO / Massey-Ferguson dealer and I intend to be as brand loyal at possible on this play through. Other brands specifically advertised are Kuhn, Vaderstadt and Krone, so expect to see the products of those companies represented too.

In-game there is the Massey-Ferguson 5600 series tractor which would meet my 100HP needs well, but I can also get the newer 5700 series as it is available as a mod. So that is what I chose to do – this is the 5710S…

…And I also bought a front lifter and pallet fork by Stoll and a trailer from FarmTech. Some of my first jobs will be transport and I will need a trailer to carry bales as and when I get my sheep 🙂 In fact a couple of my first jobs were transporting and I had an amusing incident with the ai on the main road…

…It seems they all drove into each other when I slowed to turn off at my delivery point – they were still there when I came out 😉

Next purchase was a Spreader for Fertilizer or Lime – I need to fertilize the grass to promote strong growth. With luck I’ll be able to get a Silage harvest from field 19 before I have to turn it to Hay production for my Sheep – the ones I don’t own yet! I’m also buying field 15 from that map I’ve shown above because I want to have a crop as a means of getting some income in the period when the sheep are just eating and not producing wool.

Owning field 15 automatically means a second tractor – one that can pull a plough. Again we’re going Massey-Ferguson and once more it’s a mod. The base game offers the 5600 in the small tractors. The next tractor available is the 7700 – which is bordering on a large tractor but creeps into medium. The price reflects that status. So I need something in between – something with around 180HP. That is the Massey-Ferguson 6600 and the 6616 version gives me 185HP for £133K…

…A nice comparison shot of the tractors together in my barn. Here’s the 5710S returning home from another delivery job…

…The roadsigns will give you an idea of where we are in the UK 🙂

I took out a loan for £150k to facilitate my second tractor purchase and also to buy a plough. Again, I’m sticking with manufacturers that the local dealer sells. So I bought a Kuhn 153 4+1. To translate, that is a 5 blade plough which cuts 2.5m. If you’ve been following and read my notes about ploughs and required horsepower, you may be wondering why I’ve gone with a plough that only needs 125HP (game claims 150HP) when I could go with the 153 5+1 which probably needs 150HP (in-game rating 180HP). One word – testing! While testing I found that the 6 bladed plough caused the tractor to lose traction so badly, even on the flat, that every row was being cut at 4-5mph. When I checked the soil moisture figures I found them to be significantly higher than on Boundary Farm. The Seasons mod claims to include adhesion changes according to ground conditions and here I’ve seen it in action. With the 5-bladed plough the tractor achieves 6-7mph consistently and so the speed more than makes up for the loss of width on a medium-large field. Here’s some business at the sharp end…

…as I work on into the night at the end of March 10th, ploughing field 15. I need to get it ready for liming in the morning. It was 23:00 when I finished. I put the tractor to bed and then went to turn in myself…

As March slowly migrates into April and we move into mid-spring, the trees come into leaf on Boundary Farm…

I’ve been working hard on other farms to make money and finance the cost of the equipment I will need on my own farm going forwards. In late March, the first sowing jobs appeared despite the soil temperature remaining lower than ideal. Initially there were potato’s to sow. Despite the huge payouts for doing them, I left those jobs alone as they will take a lot of time to complete. Then the first Wheat sowing job appeared along with one for Oats. To take these jobs I bought a seeder – I’m going to need one myself soon so it seemed an opportune time. I went with the Horsch Pronto 6AS again as it served me well on Oak Glen Farm but this time I’ve bought the associated SW3500 tank to go with it as the size of most of the fields around justify the much larger capacity……and the SW3500 will also work with the Maestro 8RC so I can add one of those seeders later when I’m ready to get into Corn and Sunflowers.

I had been doing a lot of cultivating using the Kuhn subsoiler but its fixed 4m width was making any trip along Duken Lane past the pub very difficult as the road is only barely wider than 4m there. It was also a liability when running on the main road – always having to weave around lamp posts when there was a gap in the oncoming traffic so as to avoid a collision. I’m not going to sell the Subsoiler – it has its place on my farm – but I needed a more transport-friendly piece of equipment for cultivating jobs. Although I went for the Horsch seeder that I know, one thing I’m trying to do on this farm is use different equipment, so I looked at the various cultivators in-game and on the mod-hub. I chose the Vaderstad Carrier 500 Disc Harrow. It folds up nicely for transport between fields and has a working width of 5m. It is also within the power of my current tractor which comes in handy when some of the local fields resemble a ski-jump…

I’ve done more ploughing jobs and some transporting – there’s definitely plenty of variety in the jobs. I often pick a job, hitch up the required equipment and then wind up doing another job requiring the same equipment after the first is completed! And I’m still finding new areas of the map to visit! Back on my own farm in early April, I completed the tidy up by removing some more low growing shrubs and trees to create a bit of open parking space for the equipment. I promised that this time I wouldn’t be doing any wholesale tree clearance and I’ve stuck to that – well almost. While using the Biobeltz stump grinder to remove one set of saplings, a full sized tree just upped and disappeared on me! Not my fault – that’s a map/game issue! Anyway, the good news is that, unlike the real world, you can just stick in a replacement tree – I used one of AlienJim’s season’s ready placeable trees. Here’s the cleared area with the Vaderstad and the MetalTech trailer parked up……and the big Beech behind them is the replacement tree 🙂 I’ve also cleared the shrubs in the area next to the silo, which gives another dumping ground for equipment that doesn’t need sheltering from the weather……and finally, while I have left the Birch beside the barn, I’ve cleared out the low growth next to the field which was restricting movement in front of the lean-to. Then, I planted two full-size trees, another Birch and a Maple……so there’s been a net gain of two grown trees.  And, wood salvaged from the clearance has earned me £3k 🙂

Yesterday, which I estimate to be the 7th of April in-game, I decided to sow my own field with Barley……The soil temperature is still stubbornly sitting on 4 degrees but I’m hoping it will warm over the next couple of days before a spell of rain moves in. Even with the increased capacity of the SW3500, the Horsch still needed refilling to completely sow this field, so I think I will have to add a Partner 1600 tank too (like the one I was using on Oak Glen)! However, the SW3500 did allow me to fertilize at the same time, so that’s the second stage of fertilizing completed. Next up I’m going to have to get a sprayer to deal with the pesky weeds and add in the third stage of fertilizing after the crop starts to grow. So we’ll look at that next time 🙂

Here we are at the end of a long day’s work……Cultivating another farmer’s field to make a bit of money on the side. I now have a fuller understanding of how the Seasons mod works, at least in terms of basic arable farming. If you use the default settings of nine days per season, each in-game day (real world time) equates to around 10 farming days. You can do a lot in that time! Let me take you through some of what I have doing in my first farming day on the Six Ashes map.

I set out to completely prepare my field for sowing, including the first stage of fertilizing. I think now that that I could have spread the work out rather than doing it all in one game day – fertilizing could have waited until the next week – ie next irl game day or even the one after! The upshot is that I am ready to sow but soil temperatures are too low for reliable germination of the seeds. I also bought more fertilizer than I needed (I filled up the spreader!) – so I’ve got around 5000l sitting around. That’s not a disaster – I’m just waiting for a fertilizing job on a neighbouring farm. But in the first week of March all the jobs are plowing or cultivating……With an occasional transport job thrown in. Doing plowing for other farmers allows me to try out some of the larger equipment like this Lemken Titan 18……It is a pig to line up for each cut because the tow bar is on a swivel and I think that the time lost positioning it outweighs any gain from a slightly wider cut. That all the jobs reflect the time of year is a good thing – it brings realism. I’m expecting jobs to sow or plant as the weather turns warmer and, when autumn comes, harvesting jobs. In between I’m sure there will be weeding and fertilizing to be done. In fact, I’ve already got my first patches of weeds……They popped up while I was doing my lime spreading! A look at the map shows them dotted around in every crop field…

I have mentioned soil temperatures being too low – Seasons brings much more realistic weather and crop growth. If you glance back to the shot of the weeds in my limed field you can see a number of icons at the top of the screen. The second from the left shows the air temperature and, below that, the ground temperature. I can open up the seasons menu of sowing and harvesting periods, and check what temperatures are needed for each crop to germinate……and I can get a weather forecast that lets me know what the weather over the next few days is likely to be……looks like it’s going to get colder and we may have rain on Wednesday! I may be able to sow on Thursday but Sunday is currently looking better 🙂 In Seasons time those days equate to early-April and early-May. I’d probably prefer to get my crop in the ground in April if possible. Like the real world, the weather forecast may not be totally accurate – it might be possible to sow on Friday despite rain being forecast (which would be mid-April). Then, once the crop is in the ground I’ll be checking how well it can handle what the weather is throwing at it. There’s a chart for that too……I’ll let you read that one for yourselves!

As you can see, Seasons brings a lot more to the game than bare trees 😉 There’s a lot more thought and planning required – all of which may come to nought if there’s a bad drought over summer or if it rains and prevents harvesting the crop before it withers. Much more realistic 🙂 There’s more I could tell you about but this post is already long so it will wait for another day. To close I’ll share a shot with you of how our previous farm, Oak Glen, would have looked in early spring…