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

Compost–Another lucrative Business

In addition to all the new fruit types available on the Ringwoods map, the ability to create compost and sell it can add up the virtual dollars, pounds, euros etc. in the old bank account.  A few blog postings ago, I shared “How to get rich quick” using the Ringwoods map.  The beauty of the Ringwoods map is at the very beginning you have just under 1 million dollars in equipment available to you.  As I pointed out in the blog article, all this equipment is in the “free and clear”.  You can sell it to generate some quick cash to then re-invest in different equipment.  Go read the “How to get rich quick” using the Ringwoods map for all the details.

Once you find yourself with a few dairy cows and you’ve invested the effort in stockpiling all you need to sustain them for a while, their byproduct (along with a few other things) can all be hauled up to the CMC Composting Plant to be turned into compost.  Once the compost is ready (the machine does all the work) you then just backup your tipper and haul it to the sell point (located behind the Garden Center).  Unlike the Chaff –> Silage –> to $$$ process which requires you to move the silage from the BGA bunkers to the silage receptor, the compost process is much less complicated.  Also, unlike the previously mentioned BGA process, all you really need to complete the task is a tractor and tipper.  I’d recommend picking up the Kroeger Trailer Pack.  This trailer pack mod was created by Stevie (developer of the Ringwoods map).  These trailers will haul anything and everything you’ll need to start your compost business.  Also, while you are grabbing trailer mods.  Go ahead and pickup the Kotte Universal Pack (by Farmer Andy)  These tankers will carry any liquid (water, fertilizer, fuel, liquid manure) around your farm.  More about the tankers in just a minute.

Again, once you are a little more established with your farming empire and have several dairy cows (beefs, pigs and fattening chickens help as well) they will start to produce both solid manure and liquid manure.  Now I realize that both can also be used as fertilizer.  However, as the game doesn’t really care what type of fertilizer is used on the fields and manure (both types) require a very large amount to cover even the smallest of fields, I simply prefer to use the other fertilizer methods.  Again, you can (and should) harvest the solid manure from all your animals and haul it to the CMC Composting Plant.  I tend to do this once I have accumulated a trailer full (45,000).

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Dumping a load of solid manure at the CMC Compost Plant.

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The manure is moved into the large mixing station to be further processed into compost.

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A fully automated process.  Just dump and go.

Next, as I have time I use my large 50,000 liter loading wagon to pickup the straw from my wheat and barley harvests and I stockpile a few hundred thousand liters in my silo.  So for every trailer full of solid manure, I also transport a full wagon of straw to the CMC Compost Plant.   However, the CMC Compost Plant will accept potato, sugarbeet, chaff, silage, grass, straw, woodchips and manure.  While I haven’t calculated it all out, I’m guessing for my operations….everything but manure is much more valuable to sell or use than turning into compost.

As I previously stated, the CMC Composting Plant is much more of a friendly process than the BGA.  The Ringwoods Compost plant has a backup ramp to tip/offload both the straw and solid manure and on the other side you simply pull your tipper under and the newly created compost will pour right into the trailer.

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Once the mixture is turned into compost, just pull up and the plant will offload into your tipper.

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A full load of compost being delivered to the sell point located directly behind the Garden Center.

Normally speaking, compost may not make you a millionaire all by itself.  However, considering the process as I’ve described in using manure and straw where the only cost to you is gathering it and transporting it to the CMC Compost Plant, the average value is around $516 per ton.  But if you time it right, you may catch a high demand scenario where it could be worth a lot more.  Recently the Garden Center was paying 1.6 times during a 24 hour high demand situation.  This meant for every 45,000 liter load I moved from the CMC Compost Plant to the Garden Center I earned about $23,000 per load.  Not a bad payout considering.

Finally, if you are playing the Ringwoods Farm map don’t forget you have a manure selling point located at the BGA Plant.  This is where I haul my liquid manure using the Kotte Universal Packtanker trailers.  These really nice tankers will transport a variety of liquid types including fuel, water, fertilizer and of course liquid manure.  I don’t exactly recall just how much a tanker full of liquid manure will net you.  But again…considering all you need to do is pump it from your storage facility to the sell point.  The money is too easy to turn down.  Every penny counts in your farming empire.

I hope this information helps you and you’ll return again soon.

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry

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