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…

Here we go in the slightly altered format with a factual update and some info on my future plans. In the last post I left us all waiting with bated breath to see if the rains would stop in time for me to harvest my Soy Bean crop. I pottered about doing some small jobs for other farmers to keep some money coming in. Then around 16:30 there was a weather update – the rain was forcast to stop circa 10:30pm. With that good news, I decided to sow the original field with Wheat and get another crop on the grow. By 6:15pm it was already starting to look like the weather was improving and knowing that time was going to be tight for completing the harvest if the rain stopped, I decided to move the equipment down to Field 14 West……and by half-past Seven we had everything in place for quick start…

But the nail-biting wasn’t over. All I could do was fill in time with a small local delivery as I waited to see if the rain stopped. It finally did stop at 23:15. I fired up the New Holland TC5.90 for our first night harvest……We collected just over 13000l of Soy Beans……It was a tired farmer that headed back home with the combine and the harvested beans. I left the New Holland by the washer ready for a clean in the morning. I parked the trailer down by the piggery ready for an early morning trip to the store offering the best price. And I went to bed – (irl too!).

In the morning at 06:30 I drove down to Empire Stores and sold the beans for £21450 – that put our cash in the bank to £220k. I decided to pay back £50k of the original loan so I currently have a working capital of £170k. I cleaned off the Harvester and put it away. Then it was time for the new day’s chores. All that ‘lovely’ rain had made the original field look like a great candidate for a ‘Britain in Bloom’ award……More herbicide deployed in response!

That is where we are currently. The next chores will be harvesting the grass in field 4 and preparing 14 West for another crop. Working with the fields we have and doing contract work for other farmers, I want to boost the bank balance up to around £300k. We have a minor issue revolving around the Fendt – You can see that the value is marked in red on this screen……The resale value being low is the game’s way of telling me that the maintenance costs on that tractor will start creeping up and its pulling power will begin to slowly decrease (at least that is what I believe is supposed to happen). If you look at the hours column and compare the time the Fendt has done with the other farm machinery, you can understand why that is! So the plan of action is to buy a higher powered tractor once we reach £300k to do the heavier work. The Fendt will then handle grass harvests and other lighter tasks. The Massey Ferguson will continue as the transport tractor, although it can handle things like windrowing too……I’m also thinking of expanding field 4 by removing some of the trees on the north and east sides to improve the grass production, but that will be a side project that gets done in quiet moments. Then, eventually, I want to be buying a 6th field for crops.

Just a quick note on the planned ‘Story’ farm. I’ve had to look at changing a bit of background code so that when I come to tell the story I can present at least one change in a screenshot that would otherwise not be possible. I’ve started mentally fleshing out my character and those who you will meet in the first couple of posts. Where the story will go I don’t know but clearly it will be limited to a certain extent by working around the farming. Greenwich Valley may be a fictional map but the A52 and A54 roads, mentioned on signposts, pass through Staffordshire. The main town on the map is Ballygreen and just outside Leek in Staffordshire we find a place called Ball Haye Green – say it quickly and you can see where I’m going with this 😉 Of course, that may all be coincidence but I conclude that the map is set in the midlands and I may be able to use that as an aid to my story telling too. We’ll see!

I’m pushing on with progressing the farm in the hope of harvesting my first crop before the community event starts in Euro Truck Simulator because that will be a big timesink and I’ll probably have to put the farming to one side for a while. Since the last post I’ve caught up to where I was before I lost my gamesave. So to start this post, here’s my pristine crop in the first stage of growth……And some crows being shooed away 😉 As before, I did fertilize Mason’s field for nearly 10K while waiting for my crop to show through. Now they’re above ground, I have to fertilize my field once more to get the best yield. I won’t bore you with pictures of that action nor with two other fertilizing jobs for Mason in field 36 which between them earned me over 26k – the three jobs I’ve done for my fellow farmer have paid the cost of buying the spreader now! This ‘softly, softly’ approach, starting with small machines, a single unprepared field and only buying what I need, when I need, is working out well. I can’t remember when I’ve ever had so much money still in the bank at this stage and in terms of game time, we still have several hours of the first day left to work.

Next, I bought a trailer and pallet forks. I’ll need the trailer for when I harvest my crop but in the mean time I can use it to do some transport work. I chose to buy the MetalTech DBL8 trailer, which is one from the modhub……It’s not as big as I might need later but for my current field it should be fine. For the delivery work I’m running it without the sides – I’ll refit them when I get to harvest time. Here’s one delivery I’ve taken on……and here we are collecting the goods at the sawmill…

I decided to have another go at a baling job despite the bad experience of last time. I had a feeling that growing grass and making it into silage bales could be a good way to make money. In fact I had already been prospecting equipment and suitable fields to purchase. Mason owns field 32, which was one that I’d looked at, and wants it mowed. So I accepted that job using hired equipment. The mowing and baling went fine. Rather than struggle to collect the finished bales, I decided to buy the autoload trailer that I mentioned in the previous post – it’s in the modhub. I’ll be able to use it on any other baling jobs I take and if I do go down the road of owning grass fields for silage making, buying it now is an investment. Collecting went without a hitch. I took the bales to the Stables Barn to sell and my cut of the profit was £2641. Given that I’m getting a third of the harvest value, that meant that each bale was worth £1500 – definitely a good money maker given that the only out-goings on a grass field is a single fertilize after each mow! Of course, it will mean buying a lot of equipment to start up, but I can use that on baling jobs for other farmers too. Yepp – I must get into this line of business 🙂

By the time I’d done those deliveries and mowed the grass, it was getting late. An evening check on the crop revealed that weeds had sprung up after I did the second fertilizer run and I was going to have to do something about them. My preferred solution to a weed problem is the Hardi Mega 2200 – much better than taking an 8 iron to them 😉 So off to the shop to buy the sprayer and herbicide along with a larger weight to keep the tractor balanced. Then it’s time to spray…

That just about completed my first day’s work on the farm (game time is a funny thing). To end the day I washed down the equipment and the tractor……and put them all to bed. In the next post we’ll see how the crop is doing and make a start on silage making.