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…

A good night’s sleep (irl as well as in-game) brought some clarity of thought. The additional cost of buying the Claas Axion or John Deere 6250R for a few extra horses does not make sense. The 280HP Massey-Ferguson 7726 will handle all of our current equipment and most future upgrades except in the case of ploughs. But to see a real increase in ploughed width would take a lot more than 300HP anyway. So I saved myself some money and bought the Massey. With the money I saved I was able to sell my 2.5m AgroMasz plough and replace it with a 3.0m Lemken VariOpal 8.

The Massey went straight to work cultivating both our recently harvested fields down by Coberley. During this work I found an escape from our harvesting work the previous night……so I called up the Massey 3090 to collect the errant bale and that gave a photo opportunity of the 2 Massey’s together……Cultivating on the steep section of 14 west showed the benefits of the extra horsepower over the Fendt’s 150HP with the Massey 7726 romping up the hill at the full rated speed for the AgroMasz BTC50H. With cultivating done, I dropped off the harrow and picked up the seeder. Again, the task was handled with ease……14 West is growing Canola while 14 east has Wheat, some of which will be used to stock up the supply for the Chickens.

The other decision I took was to sow a crop in our newly expanded field 4. But first it has to be ploughed. Here’s the pretty blue Lemken VariOpal 8……looking at a pristine field of grass – we’ve got to plough that lot in! And here we are a while later……Job done.

The Fendt still has an important role to play, in this case applying lime to the field……but also Fertilizing and applying Herbicide when necessary. The 7726 completed the cultivation and sowing of field 4. I’ve opted for Oats in this field and we’ll see what sort of return we get. Here’s the map of the fields in the area with their various crops……My fields are relatively small compared with most of the ones owned by other farmers but we’re gradually growing 🙂

That’s all for this post – Lets see what a new week brings 🙂