Hello States v6

I’m slowly in the process of starting up a new map adventure using the much talked about States v6 map.  States v6 is only available from American Eagles Modding and you must be a member (it is free to join) in order to download the map.  I’m not about to give up on Ringwoods Farm, but as I’ve been farming Ringwoods for the past month or so and before that had been farming the default Westbridge Hills (Ringwoods is based on Westbridge but mucho better), I felt I needed a change.  So I have been looking at map alternatives and set about defining a few requirements.

First, while I have nothing against maps based in the UK, Europe etc. I really wanted to stick with a USA based map.  Second, while I truly love the challenge of all the fences, gates and trees in Ringwoods…I also wanted to find a map with less fencing and gates.  Third, I’m really not into the logging/forestry aspect of the game…so my map selection could certainly exclude this and I would be OK.  Finally, after farming on Ringwoods and getting spoiled to some of the “bells and whistles” such as conveyors and the mixing station mod, I was looking for a map where these types of features were already built in.  I also wanted the ability to raise pigs, beef and chickens for market and wanted the variety of the additional fruit types (cotton, oats, sunflower, soybeans and sorghum).  I had heard about States a few weeks ago and with the recent release of version 6, I decided to give it a try.

Some fine print before I proceed.  I’ve been watching a few YouTube videos regarding the soil mod.  I also printed off all the documentation I could find on this mod.  I’ll be honest and say upfront that I’m perhaps more confused after reading it than I was before hand.  I’ve decided to leave out the soil mod (for now) and just spend some time learning the new map and farming at my pace without the needed worry about pH levels and those dreaded weeds.  But understand, I said the same thing about the PMDG aircraft a few years ago.  I said they were too complex to learn etc.  Both the PMDG 737, 777 and 747 are some of my favorite aircraft and I rarely fly anything other than these aircraft.  So having said that, I will eventually experiment with the soil mod and I’ll learn it and when I do, I’ll share it all here in this blog.  But for now, I’ve left the soil mod out of States v6.

The States v6 map is a large map.  It features wide open spaces and really is designed for BIG equipment and lots of it.  It includes all the features I had desired in a new map and even some new features to try out.  From the start you own four fields (1, 5, 6 and 9).  Fields 6 and 9 are planted with wheat and soybean.  The map is also pre-populated with 250 dairy cows and 100 sheep.

As I just stated, States v6 is HUGE.  You start off with a lot of equipment including four New Holland Combines (CR10.90) with the BIG 45’ headers.  You also get three New Holland T8.435’s (Trax models) along with one NH T9.565 and the massive Case Quadtrac 620 (which I sold).   You also get mowers, tippers, loading wagons, wheel loader, fertilizer spreaders, sprayers, baler…and more.  I ended up selling the mowers, baler and a few other pieces of equipment so I could afford the Krone Big M500 mower mod from OEB Modding.  With three large fields pre-planted in grass, I wanted something with a wide working width and the Big M500 will row the grass.  This will save both time and effort.

On day 1, I used Courseplay to get the Krone Big M500 cutting grass.  I split the initial grass harvest between getting the cows and sheep fed and moved about 200,000 liters to the silage bunker just next to the cows.  I already compacted and have it fermenting.  The rest of the grass will be moved to the BGA.  Also, I put one of the four combines to work in field 6 harvesting wheat and moving the straw to storage.  Just as soon as the grass has fermented into silage, I’ll have all I need to mix up the first batch of TMR.  The way I figure, as I already have 250 dairy cows I need to get them producing at 110% ASAP to take advantage of increased milk production as well as manure and slurry.  While I don’t plan to use either as fertilizer, both can be sold to help increase my available cash.

I’m also seriously thinking about selling two of the four combines and headers.  It may be some time before I can actually get all four combines working with enough tractors/tippers to support them.  I really need to generate enough cash to purchase the Krone BigX and get a field of corn planted to cut as chaff to send to the BGA.  Selling silage at the BGA is a quick way of generating a lot of income in a relatively short period of time.  You can read my blog article titled Getting Rich Quick on Ringwoods Farm which very much applies to States v6 as well.  I may also try out theRental Mod as well for a few pieces of equipment until I can get enough available cash.  We’ll see how it goes…

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry

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

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