Fertilize those Fields

Another Farming Simulator 2015 game tip.  This post is primarily geared to those playing either the default maps (Bjornholm or Westbridge Hills) or any other map where the soil mod hasn’t been incorporated.  For me personally, I have yet to experiment with the soil mod, but it is something I’m interested in when the right map comes along.

Just like in real life conditions, our virtual farm fields need extra nutrients to grow crops.  For those starting out in the game you have a few different options to consider.  All fertilizing options do the exact same thing with regards to crop yield and there is no benefit to using more than one method on the same field.  In other words, using two or more different types of fertilizer will not further increase the crop yield.  But simply applying one fertilizer option will double your crop yield versus not using fertilizer at all. Bottom line…fertilizing is a MUST down on the farm!

Before we get started breaking down the different types of fertilizer and the equipment needed for the job, allow me to briefly explain what crops can be fertilized.  This will be easy and is best said that all crops with exception to grass can be fertilized to increase their yield.  If you are going to plant a field (or already have a field planted) in grass, no fertilizer type will aid in the growth or yield produced.  This is unfortunate, but it just just how Giants developed the game.  So fertilize everything else (wheat, barley, canola, corn etc. etc.) but don’t waste your time, money and fuel to place fertilizer (any type) on grass as it will not make any difference.

Finally, let’s briefly discuss when to fertilize.  Which ever type of fertilizer you decide to use (see below) the time to fertilize will more or less be the same.  Applying fertilizer can be done either before sowing or anytime after sowing up to the final growth stage.  I typically apply fertilizer immediately after sowing/planting.  You’ll easily be able to tell where you’ve applied fertilizer as the soil will be slightly darker in appearance.

Types of Fertilizer

For the default maps (again Bjornholm and Westbridge) you basically have three options to choose from regarding the types of fertilizer you have available to use.  These are granular or powder type fertilizer, liquid fertilizer and finally manure.  You know….the byproduct from the cows.  However, in the very initial stages of game play….we really must rule out the option of using manure.  Manure (both solid and liquid) most certainly can be used as fertilizer and the cost for the fertilizer itself will be free….but again in the early stages of game play you simply will not have enough available to do the job.  In addition, as I’ve described in a recent blog post regarding “Compost…Another Lucrative Business” you may be better off selling both the liquid manure and solid manure versus using it as fertilizer.

Granular Fertilizer

Of the three fertilizer types, the white granular fertilizer is the easiest to apply to your fields.  The Amazone ZA-M 1501 with a 3,000 liter capacity is generally supplied as starting equipment on the default maps of Bjornholm and Westbridge Hills.  This spreader can be mounted to any three point hitch and has a wide coverage of 26,0m.  As you accumulate more wealth, the pull-behind Amazone ZG-B 8200 model should most certainly be considered as the capacity more than doubles to 8,200 liters.

Liquid Fertilizer

Just a reminder, this blog posting is geared to those playing the default maps or any other map where the soil mod hasn’t been applied.   The soil mod does change how fertilizer and other soil treatments are applied for optimum results.  For the purpose of this blog article, we are strictly discussing maps where the soil mod is not in place.

The process for applying liquid fertilizer is much the same as the granular type.  However, different equipment is used.  In the default “in-game” store you’ll find the Amazone UF 1801 sprayer.  This sprayer is designed to mount on the rear of the tractor.  An additional storage take can be purchased which mounts to the front of the tractor.  The main rear mounted sprayer when unfolded has a working width of 24,0m.  This can become a challenge on maps with smaller fields or those with fences, gates and trees near by.  Again, there is no advantage to using liquid over granular.  They both provide the same yield when applied to the field.

Manure

As previously stated, the use of manure for fertilizing purposes in the early stages of farming really isn’t an option.   First, the cost of the equipment is considerably more expensive than the spreader or sprayers.  Second, the amount required to cover even a small field will be more than what can be made from a few head of dairy cows.  Unfortunately, of the three default livestock (chickens, dairy cows and sheep) only the dairy cows produce manure.   But as you grow your farming empire and add more and more dairy cows…the manure will start to pile up (literally) and can most certainly be used as fertilizer.

Manure is essentially broken down into two types.  Solid manure and liquid manure or slurry.  Both types (along with granular and liquid fertilizer) when applied by itself will double the crop yield.  Remember, the best we can do is double the yield.  Applying all available fertilizer types is only wasting time, fuel and money and will not increase the yield beyond double.

The in-game equipment for both solid manure and liquid slurry will work well in applying to the field.  The cost of the equipment is in proportion of the capacity.  In the case of slurry, a large 55,000 liter capacity storage trailer can be used to store slurry near the field to decrease the travel time to refill.

Just as a reminder, consider reading the blog article I wrote a few weeks ago titled “Compost – Another Lucrative Business”.  This may get you thinking about better ways of using manure and slurry to increase your income versus using it for fertilizer.

In closing, regardless if you are just starting out or have been farming in your virtual world for some time, there really is no excuse not to fertilize.  I hope this article has provided you the information you need to make the decisions on what type of fertilizer to use and the equipment required to perform the job.  “Down on Jerry’s Farm” I use the white granular fertilizer and own both the three point hitch  mounted spreader and the pull-behind model.

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry

New Experiences Down on the Farm

I’ve been computer farming with Farming Simulator 2015 for a few months now.  During all this time I’ve only ever grown and harvested the default plant types of wheat, barley, canola, corn (both for selling in the shops and for silage production) along with potatoes and sugar beets.  I recently began farming on the brand new Ringwoods Final v1.8 map created by the very talented Stevie.  I had spent almost a month on his v1.7 but that map still only allowed the default type grains and fruits.  This new Ringwoods v1.8 includes sunflower, soybean, oats, sorghum and cotton.  Check out the latest update with version 1.81 available here.

Starting over with a cash injection to cover purchasing new equipment and all the fields I owned in v1.7, I began planting my crops on the new v1.8 map.  I started with the basics of wheat, barley and canola.  I then planted the field closest to the BGA with corn.  I planned to split the harvest between the BGA bunkers and the bunker at the south farm location.  This would allow me to get a jump on silage production for my dairy cattle.  Of course I also needed some of the straw from the first harvest of either wheat or barley.  Going into multi-task mode, I also managed to mow, tedder, rake and collect the loose hay again with the goal of jump starting my total mixed rations (TMR) production.  Once the first crops were ready to harvest I was up early to make a good start in getting it all done.  The hard work paid off, the dairy cattle are performing at 110%.

Next I set out to do some experimentation with the new fruit types I have the ability to plant and grow on this new map.  I planted a small field in cotton and sunflower to start off with.  I’m really looking forward to harvesting the cotton.  In real life I drive from Colorado to Texas to visit family.  Cotton is grown in much of the panhandle and far northwest Texas region.  Generally on both sides of the road and as far as one can see are cotton plants.  Depending on the time of year we visit, you can also see the large bales of cotton sitting around.  In addition, the area is covered in loose pieces of cotton.  It’s all very cool to see.

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Harvesting the new cotton crop with the New Holland CR10.90

I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to go about harvesting the new fields I planted in cotton and sunflower.  But I quickly found out all I needed was my trusty New Holland Combine and the 9m header I use for corn.  This header will also work for sorghum and soybeans.  Of course, the oats will be done with the same header I use for the grains (wheat, barley, canola).  Having the ability to harvest all these new fruits is keeping me busy and I’m enjoying the variety.  I’ve dedicated the jumbo sized fields of 8 to wheat, 15 to canola and 16/17 to barley.  I’m then growing the new fruit types of cotton, sorghum, sunflower, soybean and oats on the smaller fields throughout the map.

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Early morning sunrise down on Jerry’s Farm.  This field of sunflowers will be ready to harvest soon.

If you are interested in growing something other than wheat, barley, canola etc.  Check out the Ringwoods Farm map and try your hand at these new opportunities.

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry

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