In the last post I told about boosting my cash-in-hand with collectables to move the story on a bit. When I left off, I’d just bought that second field – number 14 on the map. In this post I’m going to show you how I spent my ill-gotten gains.

I needed to create a new parking area at the east end of field 14 for my equipment complete with a shelter. Before doing this work, I turned off the autosave function in the game menu in case I made a mistake – anything you do to change the map is undoable!!! So you need to have a saved version that you can return to if it all goes wrong.

To make the necessary changes I had to access the construction menu. This can be done either from the vehicle dealer sell point or by pressing CTRL+P…

…while at the location where you want to do the work. It’s usually easier to start there. I’ve opened a new version of the map to show you the very basic’s. Here’s the landscaping screen…

…From there I need to select the painting option as I don’t intend to alter the underlying terrain but I will warn in passing that the Sculpting tools can be a bit fierce so you use them at your peril. From the Painting options I select the type of ground I want – in this case dirt…

…The size and shape of the painting ‘brush’ are controlled by N,M and V keys – but the F1 help screen will tell you that. All you need is a steady hand or the ability to accept that things aren’t quite as you intended😉 If you save manually as you go along you should be able to get a good result in the end though it may need a bit of practise first👍 Then you can add your buildings…

…All the painting and all buildings cost you money so you can’t afford to be too lavish if you’re on a budget – For example, I can’t afford the ‘small garage’ that I’ve used for illustration purposes. Anyway, that’s the how explained. Now to the end product. This is my vehicle shed and refuelling point…

…I’ve just started moving some of the equipment across from the farmyard. The open shed cost me €10K and the fuel station another €16K. Here’s what my new facility looks like from the air…

…I have subsequently added a small solar panel to provide power for the fuelling point – that’s not a requirement of the game; I just felt it was more realistic. The trees next to the dirt road in are my one indulgence – they cost me €1000 each, so €3K of mis-spend😉

Then I added a small workshop (cost €5K) to the farmyard…

…and this is how the farmyard looks from above…

These additions free me from having to visit the dealer for maintenance and fuel which cuts down on the amount of driving my tractors have to do and so saves some maintenance costs. Did I say tractors? Yes, the other item I spent my collectable money on was a small tractor to handle the light jobs and ease the burden on the 6716S. I treated myself to a Massey Ferguson 5S…

,,,with 105HP engine front-loader attachment. That was €86500 spent. It can handle spraying, fertilizing and transport work as you will probably see in the next post from Ferme du Vieux Chêne 😎👍

It’s deep into winter now on the farm as we move into the last week of December. The days have really drawn in with the Sun only getting above the horizon around 08:30 and setting around 16:30. We’re getting snow showers but it isn’t settling.

I had close on €80k in the bank by mid-December and that will allow me to prepare my own field for next spring. The first job was the ploughing so I hooked up the Agro-Masz…

The act of ploughing brings a lot of large stones to the surface. These can damage your equipment. I remember one morning on my Mother-In-Law’s farm in Zimbabwe, the tractor driver was ploughing one of the fields and a rock broke off one of the plough blades. Ma was very annoyed with him – he should have spotted the rock and stopped the tractor, then summoned help to manually remove it. He’d thought it would just be pushed aside and it would be alright but sometimes the blades get broken off and then the job has to stop until the plough is repaired.

After I had ploughed my field, I droved to the vehicle dealer and hired the cheapest stone-picker they had. Then I lifted the stones…

…I took them down to the stone crusher and got paid the princely sum of €74…

…by which time, it was getting dark. I had two last tasks for the evening. Returning the ‘picker to the dealer and then getting some lime into my spreader ready for the following morning. Then it was time for bed.

First job next morning was to lime the field…

On the map you can see my field (17) coloured to indicate that lime is required. So off I went in the half-light…

You don’t want to be behind the spreader when I’m doing that unless you have full protective gear on! With that job completed, I sought out a ploughing job for a neighbour to put some money back in the bank…

…The field was on the side of the valley and had a steep slope resulting in continuous corrections to the tractor steering to compensate for gravity and the natural pull of the plough. We had another flurry of snow as I worked on this job…

…Another sign that Winter’s chill is on the land. The €4.5K I earned from this job covered for the repair bills for the tractor and plough with around €1000 left over – it feels like I’m living hand to mouth at the moment. And there’s still some work on my field to be done. I’ve ploughed, de-stoned and limed it but that’s only part of the preparation. I will have to cultivate it and that may bring up more stones which I will then have to either pick up or roll into the ground. for now, I’m going to let the lime wash in until early January.

During the dark Winter nights though, I can start planning for next year. Looking at possible crop sowing times and thinking about my best options…

At the moment I’m thinking Oats in early March and then a quick harvest in July. Then a follow-on crop of Wheat or Barley to grow over the following Winter.

It’s a hard grind this farming lark🤨👍

Farming Simulator 22 released on 22nd November bringing with it many changes from its FS19 predecessor. I have eagerly awaited this new version. When it was announced, I chose to take up the pre-purchase options for the game and the season pass – only the second time I’ve ever bought a game pre-release! That’s a measure of how much I enjoyed FS19 with all its little quirks. I had faith that Giants Software would bring home the bacon in this new iteration and I think they have 🙂

Initial impressions are good – the game runs very smoothly without the stuttering start to walking after exiting your vehicle that was omni-present in FS19. The vehicle sounds are much improved. The textures have been thoroughly revamped and look more realistic than previously – though I don’t think they’re quite in the Truck Simulator or Hunter: Call of the Wild league. As previously, there are three options when starting a game – New Farmer, Farm Manager and Start from Scratch. New Farmer, being the easy setting gives you all the buildings and machinery you need to get started. There is new gameplay too. The most obvious is the introduction of seasons into the base game – having been an external mod for a while now. There’s also production – you can buy the businesses and factories that you deliver your produce to and then sell on the finished product. So, for example, grain to the mill, then flour to the bakery and finally, bread to the shops. It’s a whole new facet to gameplay that will be popular with many players. We also get new crop types – Sorghum, Grapes and Olives. One minor disappointment is that precision farming and the need to rotate your crops for best yield didn’t make it for the release – I understand that these will be coming as an update. Finally, there’s a ‘used vehicles’ purchase option at the dealer…

If you’re lucky, you may find something you need at a good discount – but you do have to be lucky!! 😉

The game comes with 3 maps. The new US map is Elmcreek…

This is the largest of the maps. The farm for single player ‘easy’ mode is located near the centre (You can see the vehicle icons clustered there). This map is also intended for multi-player use – a quick look at the 4 corners reveals farmyard areas that players can purchase. You could choose one of these for a higher difficulty level single-player game too. Here’s an overview of your equipment if you start as a New Farmer…

This includes 3 tractors…

In Europe, and another new map, we have Haut-Beyleron…

Set in southern France this is intended as a single player map. You can see the New Farmer starting point with the vehicles clustered around on the lower right beside the river. The selection of vehicles you get is similar to those for the US map except you get a modern pick-up and a mix of small…

…and medium Tractors…

Finally, there’s Erlengrat – an alpine map set in Switzerland. It’s not a new map, having been released into FS19 as part of the Alpine Farming DLC…

A New Farmer here gets a very different set of starting machinery…

Note that there’s no Harvester and all of the Tractors are small!..

With each new version of the game the equipment changes. I’ll miss the New Holland FX32 – especially if I try a mod map with very small sideroads! It’s going to take a while to find out which of the new additions are worth including in your roster but initially, the John Deere 7810 caught my eye in the medium Tractors…

…While the New Holland CH7.70 looks to be an excellent harvester…

Mods will once again provide us with additional equipment – in fact some are already appearing. It’s rumoured that Giants testing team have been snowed under with mods to test, so the trickle may soon become a deluge 😉

Now it’s time to get on with some serious gaming. I will be Starting from Scratch on the Haut-Beyleron map – If I can find a suitable location other than the base farm area to build a Farmhouse! I may also try a New Farmer save on the Erlengrat map as I haven’t tried Alpine Farming before. Watch out for more posts in the coming weeks 🙂