In the initial stages of building your farming empire, grass will be a key element. Most maps provide an almost endless supply and you’ll need to quickly get started mowing in order to provide feed to sheep and dairy cows. In addition, you may want to cut grass to kick start your silage making process. Finally, cut grass does have value and a loading wagon full will bring you some quick cash for a little bit of effort. But after some time you might want to consider corn as the better silage producing solution especially if you plan to keep a large population of livestock on the farm.
But regardless, mowing grass will always be a task you’ll need to routinely do if you plan to raise livestock. Your sheep population will work at 110% with grass and water. But your dairy cattle will need a little more than just grass and water to get them up to 110% production. Actually…a lot more! You’ll need the important TMR or total mixed ration. In terms of Farming Simulator 2015, TMR is a mix of hay, straw and silage. You can use the “in game” mixing wagons to load your hay and straw bales along with silage. From what I’ve read in the forums, the mixture is typically one bale of hay, one bale of straw and four buckets of silage.
If you are playing on the Ringwoods Farm map (like I am) or have installed one of the placeable mixing station mods, then all you really need to do is fill the mixing station and it will mix and portion the correct blend of materials to make TMR. The mixing station which is pre-installed on the Ringwoods Farm map (there are two) will hold 50,000 liters of hay, straw and silage. A full station easily supports my 75 dairy cows and 25 calves with much to spare.
As I use these mixing stations to support my growing livestock population, I do not need to bale hay or straw. I typically will pickup the straw from my wheat and barley harvests and store that material in my large shed. In addition, I grow most of my corn for chaff production and will send a portion to the BGA bunker and the other half to my south farm bunker to ferment into silage. But of course I still need a steady supply of hay for TMR.
As I said at the top of the blog posting, there is an almost endless supply of grass on most maps. Most fields will have fairly large borders of grass and mowing the grass areas along side the roads is also a great idea. I routinely drive a tractor with a front mounted mower pulling the small Euroboss pickup wagon. However, I also have a small field planted in grass. This field is located near my cow farm and on average will yield about 60,000 liters of grass or hay.
Using the windrower to gather up the grass for easy pickup.
Now what I’m going to tell you next was learned somewhat by accident. I had been mowing this field every day in order to build up a stockpile of hay. I would cut the grass, tedder the grass to turn it into hay, rake the hay into windrows with the windrower and then finally collect it with my large loading wagon. But one day after I mowed, I got distracted with harvesting cotton and sunflower and failed to finish the rest of the steps. Once I completed the rest of the tasks on the farm it was getting near dark so I bumped up the time to fast forward to the next day. As the sun was rising on my brand new day I set out to complete my usual tasks. Low and behold, I realized I had left cut grass on field 10 and new grass had of course grown. Of course, this is what would happen in real life.
The large 50,000 liter loading wagon makes quick work in picking up grass, hay or straw.
I climbed into my tractor and mowed field 10, I then ran the tedder over it, raked it and picked up the hay. I was pleasantly surprised to learn the yield had almost doubled from 60,000 on a single cut to 99,356 liters with the double cut. Considering it takes the same amount of time to tedder and rake the field regardless if it’s been cut once or twice and only slightly longer (due to more trips to dump the grass/hay) this seems to be an easy way to almost double the yield.
Dumping grass to add to my growing stockpile of grass/hay, straw and silage.
I haven’t tested if I cut the grass each day for three days, four days or five days if the yield will continue to increase. But if I don’t have time to cut, rake and gather one day…I do typically mow and then will mow again the next day and complete the process. This of course would likely NOT be the process in real life. But then again this is just our virtual farming world and what ever we decide to make of it.
I hope you enjoy this tip and I hope it helps you. Thanks for reading!
Until next time…
P.S. I did conduct another test where I mowed field 10 for five consecutive days (around the same time each day) then I ran the tedder over it, raked it and picked up the hay. The result of this test was only 100,156 liters of hay which is only slightly more than the two day test I had conducted last week. So unfortunately instead of getting five times the yield, I still only received two times the yield. This end result probably best illustrates actual real-life results where the cut grass would eventually impede the growth of new grass. Bottom line: You can certainly cut the grass the first day then cut the second day again (or second growth cycle) then tedder, rake and pickup and receive the extra yield for slightly less work. But any more than twice is just wasted effort on the part of mowing. You won’t get any benefit from it.