I’ve pressed on through February – there is so little to do on my own farm and not a lot of jobs for other farmers either. The 1st was spent ploughing of a large field belonging to another neighbour. This time I was able to try out a Claas Axion 930 Terra Trac along with a Lemken Titan 18…

…It was an interesting comparison with the John Deere 8RT and Kverneland PW100 combination that I used on the previous post. I think I might mix and match when I get to that level of farming – the JD with the Lemken. Here’s the ploughing in progress with the village of Haut-Beyleron in the distance…

That job took the whole of Feb 1st (the equivalent of doing ploughing work for the first 9 days of a real month). But at least it looks like I was enjoying myself 😎…

Feb 2nd (middle 9 days) – I decided to spend some time preparing for sowing my own crop which I intend to do in the first week of March. I had hoped to convert the Randolph trailer that I own to flatbed but it isn’t possible (I guess that’s the price of the extra load-carrying capacity!). Time to talk again about Mods. When I go to the dealer in the village, I usually check what is on offer second hand. On this occasion I found a John Deere Gator 6×4 – available from the ModHub. At just under €8K I thought ‘Great – Just what I need for transporting things’ and bought it along with the container back. I also bought the seeds I needed and loaded them on board…

By the time I got back to the farm, the snow was settling and made for a nice winter scene as I unloaded…

The snow didn’t last and on a bright afternoon I spent the rest of the day sowing Cotton for another farmer using hired equipment and bringing in the seeds I’d bought with my own tractor to save some time🙄

That closed out the day so on the following morning I took on a couple of cultivating jobs…

Meanwhile, the Gator wasn’t a success for me. To cut a long story short, I hit a few minor problems while using it. The tipper function of the back didn’t always seem to be available. When I tried loading a big bag seed container, the game emptied loose seed into the back. Clearly some of the functionality wasn’t quite as I wanted it to be though whether that is the fault of the Mod design or me using it in ways that weren’t anticipated, I couldn’t say. So, sadly, I had go back to the dealer and sell it for a small loss. I may buy another later on – perhaps when I have things like Eggs to carry around? It was fun to whiz around in😉 I bought a second trailer instead and we’re back to doing things the traditional way 👍…

…And we’re back to having seed at the farm ready for the Oat sowing season on 1st March 😎 We’ll be doing that in the next post👍

Autumn is nearly over in the Haut-Beyleron region. It’s the first week of November and the leaves are golden. I’ve been filling in time working for other farmers as I wait for my crop of Soya Beans to ripen. My equipment list has grown as I reinvested my earnings to widen the range of work I can do with my own equipment. I bought a Lemken cultivator and put that to work as an alternative to ploughing when there are no fertilizer jobs…

The nights are drawing in and the sun rises later each day. I start and finish in the dark most days now…

…with the moon and the tractor lights to help me see as I clean off the equipment.

I’ve also tried my hand at sowing some wheat for a neighbour using hired equipment…

…A chance to try out one of the John Deere tractors and a Kuhn seeder combo. I decided that this job option wasn’t as well paying as I’d like but I will be trying my hand at some harvesting for neighbours too – hopefully that will have a better pay-to-time balance.

Finally, my beans are ready to harvest…

… so I buy myself the only harvester I can afford – the ancient New Holland TX32…

…and I set about harvesting the crop…

…It’s not a huge harvest but it’s a start. Prices are not very good at this time of the year…

…so although I need money, I’ve taken advantage of the railway company’s storage. I’ll sell next year in June or July.

Parking is becoming a difficulty now with tractor, trailer, plough, cultivator, spreader and harvester – the TX32 is going to have to sit on the grass between the trees over winter…

Meanwhile I need to carry on doing chores for the neighbours and the cycle continues into the start of winter. Work late…

…and start early…

This was an update on my farm in Haut-Beyleron. As you can see, the farm now has a name – Old Oak Farm in English😎 As I play, I’m learning how FS22 differs from FS19 in some areas that are not immediately apparent. I think the financial situation for players starting from scratch is harder and the cost of repairs to your equipment seems to ratchet up quickly. The tractor is only 3-months old but it can be quite expensive to repair – I had one bill for over €2000. I’ve found it best to repair often as this keeps the bills manageable. At the moment I’m working towards buying another field with space for a shed but making the money is proving a struggle. If you don’t want to grind away at the game I think you should start in New Farmer or Farm Manager mode as these will be easier. That’s my update for now. More from Ferme du Vieux Chêne soon 👍

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…