It’s time to look at the real powers of Seasons 19 for Farming Simulator 19. It’s time we talk about crops, growth, harvesting, and how you should handle grass.
The Seasons 19 growth algorithm overrides the base game’s growth cycles. Transitions from one growth stage to another happen at midnight. Same goes for germination (when seeds start to grow.) Also, growth occurs in 4 phases. How far between you’ll see growth changes depends on how many days your season is.
Use the Calendar as Planting Guide
Germination (or sprouting) marks the start of the growth process. This is when the seeds turn into plants. Just remember that every crop type has its own germination temperature. Putting seeds into the soil that’s too cold may cause the germination to fail.
This is where the calendar is so handy. This is what you should pay attention to:
1. Germination Temperature
When the temperature is in blue, it’s too cold to plant that particular crop. When white, the ground is warm enough.
2. Planting Season
The green bar indicates when you should plant. Nothing is stopping you from planting outside the recommended windows (except frozen soil), but there’s a risk that your crops won’t mature before winter sets in.
3. Harvesting Season
Most crops can only be harvested in the final growth stage. To harvest, you need to take crop moisture into consideration. If the crop is too wet, it must have some sun to dry up before you can fire up your harvester.
You might actually get a warning that the crop is too wet to be threshed. You can drive your combine in the field, but it won’t cut anything. This doesn’t apply to grass though.
(You can use the MT 9 measurement tool, which can be bought in the shop and activated like chainsaws, to measure the crop moisture among other things.)
Note: You can turn off the crop moisture function in the Seasons 19 menu.
And foraging? The mod uses the vanilla system for foraging, meaning you can start up your forage harvester when corn reaches the second last growth stage, for example.
Soil is Too Dry
When putting seeds into the ground, you also need to look at the ground moisture. For this, you can use the MT 9 measuring tool. You don’t want the soil to be too dry. Planting in dry grounds might cause your crop’s growth to fail.
It seems that at least 12 % of ground moisture is what you want.
Fall (Autumn) Planting
If you take a look at the calendar, you’ll see that plants like wheat, barley, and canola have a second planting season in Fall. So, how can we benefit from this?
In many areas of the world, planting crops like winter wheat is quite common. During Summer, the fields are planted with, let’s say, corn. Then, after Fall harvest of the corn, the fields are replanted with wheat that matures next spring.
And this is how you can do it in Seasons 19 too. In Fall, within the crop’s planting season, you can put seeds into the ground. It will germinate before Winter sets in and stay dormant during winter. Then, when Spring arrives, it’s time to harvest the winter crops.
Patchy Crop Failures
Patchy crop failures (PCF) is new for Seasons 19. It simulates real-world events were germination, and growth fails in some areas of the fields. In-game, it’s stuff like frost and drought that might cause parts of your crops to fail.
If you discover them soon enough in the planting season, you could try replanting the patches. But for the most, the areas affected are so small that the loss of yield is almost unnotably.
Oh, those faulty patches do show up on the main menu world map, under the growth tab (see the image above.)
Winter is Coming
What about winter? What happens when the snow is falling? Well, the grass is set back at growth stage 2. Most other crops will die during winter if they have matured. The withering occurs in the transition between early and mid-winter. In other words, it might still be room to save full-grown crops in the early stages of winter.
How to Make Hay
The weather is an essential factor in haymaking in Seasons 19, just like it is for real-world farmers. Warm and windy weather creates excellent drying conditions. Rain and cold weather may cause the cut grass to rot.
There are three drying stages for grass:
Wet grass, semi-wet grass, and hay.
Wet grass needs tedding, semi-wet grass can just need warm and dry weather (see below.) And hay – just reap the rewards and make your cows happy…
Here’ it’s essential to pay attention to the moisture of the grass you’ve just cut (again, use the MT 9). If the grass is dry enough when you mow it, you can skip the tedder. This is what you should look for:
- If the grass moisture is more than 20 % before mowing, then you need to use the tedder.
- You can skip tedding when the moisture is below 20 % just before mowing.
This gives us the following workflow:
- You mow the grass.
- Then you use a tedder to help the drying process.
- You let the wind and sun dry the grass on the ground.
- Finally, you can collect the hay. Get it inside before next rainfall (hay might rot outside.)
Protip: Creating hay with Seasons 19 takes planning. Look at the forecast. Check the ‘Drying Conditions’ row. Look for a continuous line of plus signs that lasts for a couple of days or more.
Rain Ruins the Day
So, you have just cut the grass. Now, it’s laying on the ground, waiting for the sun and winds to turn it into hay. Then, disaster! It starts to rain. What can you do?
You could try tedding the grass when the rain is over and hope for warm weather afterward. If you don’t do anything, the grass will start to rot (the grass will eventually disappear.)
On the subject of rotting…
Heaps of hay and straw that are kept inside buildings will not rot as they used to do in Seasons 17…
Silage and Bales
Want to make silage from grass bales? Then you have a limited amount of time to do something about it. Grass bales that don’t get wrapped within two days will rot and disappear.
Note: It takes one-third of a season (one transition) for a wrapped grass bale to turn into silage. Same goes for chaff in silage bunkers. And just so you know, chaff will not rot when dumped in bunkers, even if it’s not covered…
Straw bales and hay bales will also rot if you let them be exposed to rain. Therefore, get them under a roof before the rain or snow sets in.
Note: The bales will only rot if the map you play on has been appropriately prepared for Seasons 19.
Grass Grows Back
One final word about grass. Seasons 19 grass grows back of itself, just like in the standard version of Farming Simulator 19. Just make sure that you fertilize your pastures after harvest.
If you can start your first grass harvest early, it’s possible to harvest one more time before winter sets in.