It’s a time of change. New theme for my blog and I think it may be the end of the road for Oak Glen Farm in its current format. All of the thinking about the next steps – which fields to buy, etc, had left me wondering if I should restart with a different strategy. The final straw came yesterday when I tried harvesting my Sugar Beet. I hooked up the Rooster to the Massey 7726 and set off…

The first problem I encountered is the capacity limit of the machine – even my small field fills the basket before I reach the end of a row. So there I am sat in the middle of the field needing to unload into a trailer. OK – I’m thinking – there’s going to be a lot of trailer runs for this harvest! Then I hit the big problem – taking a trailer into the crop destroys the plants as you go. Fortunately, I hadn’t been playing for 15 minutes when I made this discovery so by exiting the game without saving I was able to reset the clock back to before the harvest. Next I try manoeuvring the rootster down the side of the field – this too incurs crop damage whenever I depart from a straight track and also leaves some beet unharvested. I decided at this point that I’d show you the combined effects harvester and trailer on the crop, so I deliberately drove the trailer over to the harvester……having got there I thought I should at least show the Rootster unloading…

I have looked for trailers that can be given narrow crop-friendly wheels. I’ve tried using a small trailer that has narrow wheels – it still wrecks the crop 😦 There is a solution of course. I could turn off crop damage in the settings but that sort of goes against the grain for me. Instead I’m taking this away as another lesson learned in the game that will guide me in future field / crop choices. Sugar Beet are best planted in a field with a straight side that has room for a trailer to come alongside the harvester without driving across the crop. There was another option I could try in future, remove the tops first then run the harvester over the crop (with narrow tyres on the tractor) – that approach could reduce the risk of damage by the harvester. Then it would be easier to create a bridgehead in the crop for the trailer because the harvester only configuration would be more manoeuverable. And why haven’t I discovered this issue before? It hasn’t been a problem with my previous crops because they just don’t return 6000l in a single row, so there’s always been room to bring a trailer alongside!

So what will I do now? I really love the Oakfield Farm map and it has swayed my thinking about what type of map I prefer to play on. Whatever I choose to do next, it will be on another real-world based map. That rules out doing the Holzman’s Farm idea as that is on a fictional map. Oak Glen Farm is in Gloucestershire. I have three other maps in mind as alternative venues for a series located respectively in Hampshire, Shropshire and Ayrshire.

So these are my options going forward:-

1, Carry on regardless (with the crop damage off for this one harvest) – Oak Glen Farm continues.
2, Do a Start from Scratch on this map – adopting a different approach to the field creation method used in this series – Oak Glen Farm continues but differently.
3, Do a Start from Scratch on a different map, creating a totally new series – New Farm / new series name.

So I have a lot to think about! I’ll leave you with some shots from recent activity on Oak Glen Farm…

It’s amazing how fast things can move when you apply yourself – which translates as spending most of my gaming time in Farming Simulator 19. Buying the Massey-Ferguson 7726 and the new plough dragged our working balance of cash down to around £30k and I’ve been busy trying to recover the situation. It didn’t help that I had to cultivate, fertilize and sow my fields – that all costs money although I fortunately had lots of seed at the farm so that wasn’t going to add to the expense.

To enable the expansion of field 4, I took advantage of the chance to buy the ‘deadspace’ areas of the map. These are those places that don’t form part of the buyable fields and in this map come for free. Here’s a look at the map with the deadspace highlighted in blue……There’s a lot of potential there if you want to use it and buying that land gives you full access. I prefer to only use it where it’s logical to do so like the areas around field 4. I identified the area between the chicken coop and the neighbouring farmers field as a place where I could legitimately harvest the grass – in fact, owning the chicken coop gives me half that area anyway. So I mowed the grass to boost my silage bale count with the offered price rising……I subsequently mowed field 32 and with all the bales captured, that was £33k back in the bank 🙂

The Chickens are working hard – I took 4 cases of eggs over to Willowbrook Stores……I now have 70 Chickens and 2 Roosters 🙂 The fields of crops are looking good…

I found myself with everything done that I could do pending harvesting those fields. So some time to choose what I should do next. There are a couple of things I would like to get into. I’d like to do either Sunflowers or Corn as a crop – that means buying some new equipment. I’d also like to get into Sheep – that means building a sheep pen and having lots of grass and hay available. The original field could actually house a sheep pen and provide a good source of grass but I’m not sure if that would be enough and with each sheep costing £1500 the price of setting up would be quite high. Must get more money in the bank!

So that’s why I’m driving this beast……I’ve taken a contract for harvest some sugar beet and I’ve leased the ROPA Panther. This was going to earn me £18k but it was also going to be a very long job! I was complaining about Grind a couple of posts back – well this is even worse than ploughing……There’s just a huge expanse of green that we have to harvest and the machine only cuts a tiny swathe at a time 😦 And the trailer they leased me had to do 10 trips to take it all to the store…

This was a nightmare of a job and in the end, as I reached that point where my concentration had been dulled, I saw the Contract Finished note appear on screen. And that’s when I screwed up – I should have taken the last load to the sell point – I should have taken any left over sugar beet to my own silos. But I clicked on the Complete button and cost myself a potential £12k bonus 😦 That’s what happens if you get stuck into a job like this one and you take your eye off the ball to the point where you’re just pleased to see it’s done. Such is life – I’m at least £18k to the good and the bank balance is £112k. I’ve got those 4 crops to harvest very soon and then I can look at trying something new 🙂