Calmsden Farm Adventure

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paul_c
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:13 pm

Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by paul_c » Thu Jan 20, 2022 2:38 am

So, the adventure begins.....Calmsden Farm, hard settings 1 day/month, NO birds-eye camera view, NO teleporting, NO flipping land, loans only for 80% of land or 50% of machinery....

The backstory is, my uncle used to own and run the farm, but in 2021 he bought his first ever smartphone after visiting a strange other-worldly place called "a town", then discovered online dating and is currently living in Barbados with his new 27-year old girlfriend. So, he gave me the farm to work.....I say "gave", he gave me £300k and a £200k loan which he wanted back. He did a bunch of weird land deals and sold most of the farm to the locals, who fortunately don't know one end of a tractor from another but they know my phone number....

So.....contracts! Shopping!

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I went to the local tractor dealer wanting a £50k Zetor, and left with a £115k Case Maxxum after being talked into "more power" and stuff like that. However I can't actually afford it, so they said I could borrow the shop demo....for a price. Oh well. On the back is my new sprayer and I managed to get both herbicide and liquid fert home without spilling any, so I'm doing okay....

Aaaah, "home". He gave me the use of the farmhouse, but forgot to tell me, so I bought field 27 accidentally (£30k) and nearly put a caravan on it until they wouldn't let me. I did phone the land agent within an hour to ask if I could sell it back.....nope! He did say "oh, I forgot to mention, your uncle left you field 23, I think it has wheat growing in it?"

Indeed it does....so....another shopping trip:

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The trailer is mine! But the combine is leased. After a few trips down them lanes, the chances of getting any kind of combine with its header on is slim to none. So, I need to lease the header trailer too and don't fancy towing it with the combine. So, this is how I saved a trip and hooked it up to the (remember its a non-close-coupled-axles) grain trailer.

And, we're ready to go:

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Arrived at the field, nearly missed the gate. And I've driven past it with the grain trailer.....so I'll just reverse it a bit???

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10 minutes later and I've given up reversing it, I'll come back to it later.

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I had to walk/yomp back to the shop to collect the combine, at least its a nice day. And we're farming!

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Going okay so far, what could possibly go wrong....

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You're joking....I need to REVERSE into it??? With them axles????

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Attempt #1

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Attempt #5, after realising I could hook it to the FRONT of the tractor. I have a chance....

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Attempt #5 3/4 and we're in! And it didn't hit the roof either!

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It dawned upon me its not going to work out with that stupid trailer, so I bought another....1st day on the job and I own 2 grain trailers, never mind.

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Good old Claas, beautiful British name, much better than that Brantner....It was a "convertible" though, I'll need to buy a bale trailer too and I have almost no money left.....and no mower, or windrower (but I did buy a baler/wrapper - having seen how much grassland there is in the locality, silaging makes sense!)

I'll probably need to sell some grain ASAP to even afford the bale trailer, so I can lift the bales off the field. Then maybe if its not dark by then, think about silaging.....but that's for another day.

dan1109
Posts: 242
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:46 pm

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by dan1109 » Thu Jan 20, 2022 2:45 am

While a beautifully designed silo, its certainly not designed for quick unloaded. That's the one bad thing I noticed from Daggerwin's youtube series that he started 2 days before release (he was given an advance copy from OD to test). I certainly foresee a conveyor system being put in place there so you can simply dump at the entrance.

paul_c
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:13 pm

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by paul_c » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:46 am

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First time lucky with the new trailer!!

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With the cash situation looking quite terrible, and the distinctly non-rectangular fields, I thought it best to head off for some spraying contract work. Previous experience has told me that you'll make good money spraying. So that's what I bought first.

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Tip #1 my uncle gave me: instead of buying the front spray tank, just carry an IBC on the loader forks.

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Tip #2: If the ground is rough, and for quicker picking up, disconnect the forks from the loader instead of trying to place the pallet down - AND it gives you a shorter front overhang than lugging the forks back and forth.

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So, in college we just did easy examples with rectangular fields aligned N-S.....hmmmm real world little England is a bit more uneven! I did phone my old college lecturer, he just laughed.....

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For now, I just sussed that driving in more/less a straight line and using the map helps, but I will need to figure out a better and less wasteful way.

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Apparently, this is good enough for a contract completion! I'm not going to complain at £12k or so in the back pocket.

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With field 9 being near the shop, I'll pop in to collect the rest of the herbicide and the baler. Sprayer on the front, forks out the way, not much weight on the rear wheels....or forwards visibility. I'll just follow the hedgerow.

paul_c
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:13 pm

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by paul_c » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:50 am

dan1109 wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 2:45 am
While a beautifully designed silo, its certainly not designed for quick unloaded. That's the one bad thing I noticed from Daggerwin's youtube series that he started 2 days before release (he was given an advance copy from OD to test). I certainly foresee a conveyor system being put in place there so you can simply dump at the entrance.
I have fond memories of straw chopping, day-in day-out, one shed had 2x straight runs which needed to be reversed into with about 6" to spare. And we blew straw onto the cow beds backwards and forwards (one side per direction) so you needed to reverse the straw chopper arrow straight down the passageway while steering the giraffe on the chopper.

One Saturday morning the farmer's daughter eventually surfaced about 10:30am, after a particularly heavy night out. She got into the straw chopper, reversed it into the shed wall (instead of the doorway), a good 10 feet off. Then went back to bed.

humbe
Posts: 1184
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:33 pm

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by humbe » Thu Jan 20, 2022 12:08 pm

This looks like a really nice map ;).. I may very well switch out my ElmsCreek game with this once I've tested some more... And I do agree, old style blogging like this is far superior to youtube.. I don't have time or interest to sit and follow another player for hours, but scimming through posts like this to grab hints and look how others play are great ;)

norfolk farmer
Posts: 1983
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:36 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by norfolk farmer » Thu Jan 20, 2022 12:29 pm

Dolly trailers the creation of the devil :lol:

paul_c
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:13 pm

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by paul_c » Thu Jan 20, 2022 1:33 pm

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Not long now....

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Getting better, but its hardly "precision".

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A better suggestion could be, once round the edge then do the middle.

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Picked up a cultivating contract....they lent me this beast...I hope it fits!

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So, with some contracts done it makes sense to order the bale trailer, then I can collect loads of herbicide too. They said "just bring it back, we'll put the ends on when we're less busy...hmmm..." I ordered (what I thought was) 4 IBCs, but only 3 had appeared so I ordered another. Maybe the shop's app is on the blink?

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Hmmm...."Its in the shop yard, you can't miss it". Is there another shop on the map???

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All loaded up ready for a busy evening. Just as I left, the shop manager said "Good luck......with the axles".

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At least it has a few advantages, its a bit more manoeuvrable.

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I promptly (well, as quick as the gates will allow....why have closed gates on an arable farm....does wheat escape?) took my new trailer to........the corner of field 30.

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The dealer phoned, asking how I was getting on with the Case. Its nice! But I looked on the mobile shop app and they have a Zetor, however its a manual. Its a good price, but I don't have any money. Maybe some finance?

Did a quick calculation and I own easily enough equipment for a £65k loan, they'll just take security on the baler. I hope I pay it back by the end of the day, that way I'll incur no interest. That shop talked me into a few options, something about LOLER regs meaning they are obligated to sell me wheel weights with a loader attachment??? It smells of............

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paul_c
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:13 pm

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by paul_c » Thu Jan 20, 2022 1:52 pm

norfolk farmer wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 12:29 pm
Dolly trailers the creation of the devil :lol:
I'm struggling to think of an advantage of them. They're okay on the open roads but....in a sleepy English village, with hedgerows and walls....

I guess, they spread the load better and don't impose a significant noseweight onto the tractor, which can be an advantage and a disadvantage. In the real world, we can "manage" that noseweight to our advantage for more traction, but obviously it sends the nose of the tractor into the air. It means they can be towed by (some) telehandlers which might be useful later....or maybe not. The loader tractor seems to be doing okay for me so far.

paul_c
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:13 pm

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by paul_c » Thu Jan 20, 2022 2:00 pm

humbe wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 12:08 pm
This looks like a really nice map ;).. I may very well switch out my ElmsCreek game with this once I've tested some more... And I do agree, old style blogging like this is far superior to youtube.. I don't have time or interest to sit and follow another player for hours, but scimming through posts like this to grab hints and look how others play are great ;)
Please do! It would be interesting to compare our relative progress. I have been following your thread with interest and I like the scientific approach. I'm recording various things along the way (and did do previously too - for example, seed/fert/spray application rates) such as yields and field states, to give an idea of yield/Ha then work out if its worthwhile (or the payback time) of buying more land etc.

norfolk farmer
Posts: 1983
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:36 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by norfolk farmer » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:45 pm

paul_c wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 1:52 pm
norfolk farmer wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 12:29 pm
Dolly trailers the creation of the devil :lol:
I'm struggling to think of an advantage of them. They're okay on the open roads but....in a sleepy English village, with hedgerows and walls....

I guess, they spread the load better and don't impose a significant noseweight onto the tractor, which can be an advantage and a disadvantage. In the real world, we can "manage" that noseweight to our advantage for more traction, but obviously it sends the nose of the tractor into the air. It means they can be towed by (some) telehandlers which might be useful later....or maybe not. The loader tractor seems to be doing okay for me so far.
One of the other reasons people use them is that when you drop the trailer it remains level which helps in loading. As with many things in FS bales being a prime example dollies behave better in real life.

paul_c
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:13 pm

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by paul_c » Thu Jan 20, 2022 7:54 pm

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The technique of once round the headlands, then back and forth, seems to at least vaguely work for contracts.

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With the hours on the rented tractor at 5.9h, and lease costs charged by the hour, I can't afford to slip into the 6th hour. So, a quick disconnect here, give up the lease and hoof it over to the shop to pick up my new Zetor!

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All mine! Beautiful! 10.2 hours on the clock.

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Just as I was driving it home, an old guy stopped me and introduced himself as "Gerald". But he said, everyone called him by his nickname, "nuts". He's semi-retired now, but was the farm mechanic. He said "Oh there's a workshop on the farm! I'll take a look over that new tractor of yours, it probably needs something or other. He was right.... "Just drive it onto the ramp".

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Its worth saving 5 minutes to make 2 trips, by spending 10 minutes trying to load the sprayer onto the trailer instead of hooking it onto the front, which has been pointed out to me by the local busybodies in the village.

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Unloaded the herbicide. I was consistent - EVERY IBC I smacked against the back wall of the shed.

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Baling in the dark. My very first bale! I chose 180cm but its a kinda odd size, I hope they're okay to stack.....

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"Oh, I'll have a quick tinker of that baler, you want to keep it in good order", said Gerald. "Just back it into the workshop". So its a tight doorway and a 90deg turn as soon as you're in...

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Did it in one! (Probably never again though)

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Time for the big cultivating job in the silly oversized tractor.

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Made it!

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Whilst cultivating, I'd kept an eye on wheat prices and they peaked. So, first actual earned income off of crop sales!

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Animals?? These pens are part of the farm, they are quite valuable...it would be a shame not to.....

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I found the chicken pen in the dark, it was a PITA backing up the big trailer to drop off.....just 750l of wheat.

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Finally, beyond 10pm the first day is done.

paul_c
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:13 pm

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by paul_c » Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:05 pm

DAY 2 - SEPTEMBER

Well, I was planning to get up at 6am but I was awoken at 3am by the phone. It was my uncle, checking up on me. "Aaaaaarrrgggghh its 3am!!". "Oh yeah, sorry, forgot about the time difference from Barbados". "How's field 23 looking? What's in it?". "What do you mean in it? Don't you mean 'on it'?". "You know, in the ground". "Well I baled the straw last night but I need to pick it up". "Bah! Waste of diesel! Don't forget to store it under cover if you do bother with it."

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Up at 6am, and I found a stray doggie in the village.

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Still there....phew....

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That new trailer is a tight fit.

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I took it to the shop to get the ends fitted.....I thought they said it was free!

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Also bought a bucket......you know it makes sense

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My straw yield revealed....all I need to do is stack them on the trailer now.

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I have a cunning plan.....

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209,000l of straw, not bad, worth about £8k which can't be sniffed at for about 1 1/2hrs extra work?

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So, my uncle told me to put it undercover.....aaarrrgggh them axles! I swear I'll get this in, eventually....

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It only took 5 minutes but it feels like I've aged considerably in the process. Its in though. Now, contract jobs of the day.

paul_c
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:13 pm

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by paul_c » Fri Jan 21, 2022 1:57 am

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Job #1 is spraying a corn field......not much of a view

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A North-South track though! I have an idea.....I can do my passes N-S and then its easy to follow a straight line on the GPS/map coordinates.

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Another spray/fert job, and another N-S line spotted.

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The shop phoned....."We thought you might like this". Its a cheap, small tractor - giving it a bit of thought, I could dedicate this to spraying, that way I don't pile the hours onto the 180hp Zetor

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Meanwhile, back to work. This time, drilling

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There is a feint but discernible difference in ground texture to follow. The trick is to align it with something on the tractor, in this case its the top of the yellow sticker.

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£32,510 (minus the £5256 I spent on seed) will do nicely!

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Went to pick up the new baby tractor. Eventually found it.

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Hmmm, I think my loader is bigger than the tractor

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We're going to need SOMETHING on the front....and with no hitch, its going to have to be a loader of some kind.

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My £24k bargain isn't looking so great after the £1.5k for the loader attachment and a (new) £7k loader too.

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Still back-heavy but at least it can be steered now

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All balanced! Its going to be, "interesting" keeping it balanced as I do jobs

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Gerald gives it the once-over

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£580 repairs isn't too bad

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Off to work! 10kph up the hill isn't great, but....

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Eventually got there and ready for today's sprayings. It should have paid for itself in a few big jobs.

CptCray
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:53 pm

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by CptCray » Fri Jan 21, 2022 10:10 am

Hey, keep up posting, I like that kind of stuff very much! I'm also playing on Calmsden Farm and it really is interesting to see different approaches. I also started with contract work and they gave me a combine with a 12m header... It took me almost an hour to get it into the field :D

The only thing I wonder, since it seems that you're playing on PC, why don't you use any GPS mod? It makes it so much easier to keep a straight line and get the correct distances.

humbe
Posts: 1184
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:33 pm

Re: Calmsden Farm Adventure

Post by humbe » Fri Jan 21, 2022 1:04 pm

CptCray wrote:
Fri Jan 21, 2022 10:10 am
Hey, keep up posting, I like that kind of stuff very much! I'm also playing on Calmsden Farm and it really is interesting to see different approaches. I also started with contract work and they gave me a combine with a 12m header... It took me almost an hour to get it into the field :D

The only thing I wonder, since it seems that you're playing on PC, why don't you use any GPS mod? It makes it so much easier to keep a straight line and get the correct distances.
With $15.000 for GPS gear, that takes a while to pay back ;)

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