Bay 12 Games Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: 1 ... 31 32 [33] 34 35 ... 49

Author Topic: Improved Farming  (Read 133736 times)

Draco18s

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #480 on: July 27, 2010, 08:28:44 am »

I also don't know what you mean by mulch...

Wood mulch.  You could always look it up on Wikipedia and note the main ingredients being wood chips, leaves, grass, hay, and other organic gardening leftovers before hitting the modern mulches (rubber, plastic, rocks).
Logged

sweitx

  • Bay Watcher
  • Sun Berry McSunshine
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #481 on: July 27, 2010, 09:33:01 am »

Looks like there are three basic type of fertilizers for the NPK.
Nitrogen - mulch and manure
Phosphorus - Fish/meat.
Potassium - Well, potash.

Umm... no. 

Most fertilizers contain more than one, if not all three of those nutrients.

Manure and meat alike will contain all three types of nutrients.  I specifically listed bones as being higher in Phosphorous than droppings or other body parts, however, because most other forms of fertilizer available to dwarves are going to be mostly N and K, which means that P may be slightly more problematic (requiring more P-rich bone meal as a suppliment).

It should also be pointed out that crop rotation is an especially effective way of making a sustainable crop yield, and should always be your primary method of maintaining NPK balance.

I also don't know what you mean by mulch...

Sorry, I was trying to point out possible way to simplify presentation for this.

For example, a crop lacking in nitrogen can inform user that "Needs more plant mulch."
So in short deficiency for the following can be...
Nitrogen - "Need to add some mulch"
Phosphorus - "Need to add some bonemeal."
Potassium - "Need to add some potash."
NPK balance can be referred to mulch, bonemeal, and potash.
It may sound a bit weird to refer to nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in a game set to 1400s tech level.
Logged
One of the toads decided to go for a swim in the moat - presumably because he could path through the moat to my dwarves. He is not charging in, just loitering in the moat.

The toad is having a nice relaxing swim.
The goblin mounted on his back, however, is drowning.

NW_Kohaku

  • Bay Watcher
  • [ETHIC:SCIENCE_FOR_FUN: REQUIRED]
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #482 on: July 27, 2010, 11:32:31 am »

I was confused by his inclusion of mulch because mulch isn't really used as a way of fertilizing soil.  Its purpose is actually to prevent weeds or prevent soil erosion, and is placed after you already have the plants growing tall enough that you aren't burying them with the weeds you are trying to smother.  I thought it was perhaps possible he was confusing crop rotation and "green manure" with mulch, as those ARE means of fertilizing the soil, so I asked.

Quote from: wikipedia
Organic mulches can negatively affect plant growth when they are decomposed rapidly by bacteria and fungi, which require nitrogen that they remove from the surrounding soil. Organic mulches can mat down, forming a barrier that blocks water and air flow between the soil and the atmosphere. Some organic mulches can wick water from the soil to the surface, which can dry out the soil.


Sorry, I was trying to point out possible way to simplify presentation for this.

For example, a crop lacking in nitrogen can inform user that "Needs more plant mulch."
So in short deficiency for the following can be...
Nitrogen - "Need to add some mulch"
Phosphorus - "Need to add some bonemeal."
Potassium - "Need to add some potash."
NPK balance can be referred to mulch, bonemeal, and potash.
It may sound a bit weird to refer to nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in a game set to 1400s tech level.

I already made a post about a page back about how we can refer to discolorations in leaves, leaf tips, and stalks to reference the three main nutrients, so we can avoid talking about elements in a world before the notion of "elements" included more than four of five entities.

Also, I don't think there's any reason to actually reduce the effectiveness of compost down to just nitrogen.  If you let an animal decompose you really do get all the nutrients that plants need to grow, as that animal would have had to have eaten plants, or eaten an animal that ate plants (and so on for however long it takes to get down the food chain).  The only problem with fertilization by corpse is that you tend to need more corpses than you can routinely supply.  (And manure supplies all three nutrients on the same principles.)  Bonemeal is higher in phosphorus than other body parts, so it would help if you need to balance something out, but it still has N and K... After all, the basic building blocks of all protiens are C, H, O, N, and often P or K.  ANY protien will provide at least CHON.

(And of course, balancing NPK would only even matter if you could kill plants with over-fertilization.  Otherwise, you could just throw however much you need of whatever you have on hand at the problem until it goes away.)

If you want a "nitrogen only" fertilizer, urine (which makes ammonia) is actually a much better choice.

Further, I'd like to say that the first choice in all fertilization should be simple crop rotation, not adding more external nutrients, unless you, for some reason, really need to significantly increase farm yield, or just have the resources to waste on it.

I really wouldn't want this to become so simplified that techniques that should work suddenly don't.  Especially if it means that the only way to create both the N and the K nutrients is to use up trees, which could potentially cause the demand on lumber to explode.
Logged
Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
"Not yet"

Improved Farming
Class Warfare

PTTG??

  • Bay Watcher
  • Kringrus! Babak crulurg tingra!
    • View Profile
    • http://www.nowherepublishing.com
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #483 on: July 27, 2010, 12:16:35 pm »

Well, in that case, have various crops influence the levels of each nutrient according to the raws. Maybe Plump Helmets use up everything, and pig tails fix nitrogen. Maybe you can grow blade weed to increase the phosphorus levels, and so on.
 
And, of course, leaving the fields fallow should increase everything slightly.
 
So, what we get is three ratings of fertility that are all used up and refilled by various different crops, and it requires quite a lot (very FUN) of experimenting to determine. It's moddable, potentially expandable, and I even feel it's clear to a reasonably astute newbie that if the such-and-such levels are going down in the farm, it might be bad.
 
The three farming factors are actually rather arbitratry- they could be Nutrients, Minerals, and Acid, which could clearly be conveyed in a way that fits the theme, like "The soil is too acidic for this plant" or "The soil is rich in nutrients".
 
That would serve to make the mechanics more approachable.
Logged
A thousand million pool balls made from precious metals, covered in beef stock.

NW_Kohaku

  • Bay Watcher
  • [ETHIC:SCIENCE_FOR_FUN: REQUIRED]
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #484 on: July 27, 2010, 12:57:39 pm »

Well, in that case, have various crops influence the levels of each nutrient according to the raws. Maybe Plump Helmets use up everything, and pig tails fix nitrogen. Maybe you can grow blade weed to increase the phosphorus levels, and so on.

And, of course, leaving the fields fallow should increase everything slightly.

Yes, that is entirely the idea behind the Crop Rotation system - different crops take up (or even replinish) different amounts of nutrients.  In real life, letting a field "fallow" is not a matter of simply not planting anything and hoping that nutrients come back, you plant crops that will replinish the nitrogen in the soil through Nitrogen fixation, and burn them or plow them into the soil so that all the nutrients they collect will become part of the soil for the next round of serious crops. 

(That is, letting a field "fallow" does not mean nothing is growing, and the soil magically gets nutrients back, you have to specifically plant something that will add nutrients back into the soil with the specific purpose of not harvesting anything useful, but instead just killing the plant, and using it to fertilize the soil for the next crop.)

Grains like wheat and corn can feed so many people for the smallest possible acreage specifically because they consume such massive amounts of nutrients like Nitrogen, and convert it into easily digestable sugars and protiens.

Less attractive crops, such as legumes (I guess that would be the prickle berry of this game...), which replinish Nitrogen, are then encouraged to be grown simply because of its ability to help sustain the growth of other staple crops.  This was, in fact, part of the importance of George Washington Carver (who is so much more than a guy who made peanut butter) - He saw that southern farmers were depleting their soil, and knew that peanuts would replinish the soil, and so started creating products based upon peanuts (shoe polish, paint, ceramics, etc.) so that there would be a greater demand for peanuts, and they would become a more attractive crop to plant.  (This is also essentially the roots of modern bioengineering.)


So, what we get is three ratings of fertility that are all used up and refilled by various different crops, and it requires quite a lot (very FUN) of experimenting to determine. It's moddable, potentially expandable, and I even feel it's clear to a reasonably astute newbie that if the such-and-such levels are going down in the farm, it might be bad.

Honestly, I would expect any working system to almost instantly be put up on the wiki, along with "Let's Play" or tutorial versions of how to make easy sustainable crop rotation systems for the noobs, so that they can pretty much just paint by numbers for vanilla crops.


The three farming factors are actually rather arbitratry- they could be Nutrients, Minerals, and Acid, which could clearly be conveyed in a way that fits the theme, like "The soil is too acidic for this plant" or "The soil is rich in nutrients".
 
That would serve to make the mechanics more approachable.

Well, minerals are nutrients. 

If we are speaking of adding or subtracting arbitrary numbers of nutrients, we can always add the next layer of (less heavily used) nutrients, secondary macronutrients (as opposed to the heavily depleted "macronutrients", NPK), which are Calcium, Sulfur, and Magnesium, and below that, the micronutrients , which are Boron, Manganese, Chlorine, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, and Molybdenum... which are so rare most modern people don't really know what they are.

I still think this would be fine:
"Plant leaves look healthy"/"Plant leaves are slightly pale"/"Plant leaves are showing slight yellowing and somewhat small"/"Plant leaves are yellowing, new leaves are progressively smaller, and show ruddy undersides"/"Plants are stunted in their growth, and are discolored yellow and red"

If they are always displayed in the same order, even total Noobs would understand there is a gradient from good to bad going on, and "look healthy" means they don't have to worry.

If things start to get bad, then, like with designating a farm telling you that you need mud in yellow, the game can say what kind of fertilizers can potentially solve the problem.  (If there is acutally too little space on-screen for this, there might actually just be a button you could press for "farmer's advice" that will list all potential fertilizers, sorted by usefulness in that situation, including all crops in the raws, including modded ones, that replinish that form of nutrient.)

Of course, this also means modding will enable uttelry breaking the system by simply making all crops not take up any nutrients at all if you REALLY want to ignore the whole system.  (Which might be the ultimate noob's way out...)
Logged
Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
"Not yet"

Improved Farming
Class Warfare

sweitx

  • Bay Watcher
  • Sun Berry McSunshine
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #485 on: July 27, 2010, 10:27:56 pm »

Like your idea NW_Kohaku.

Honestly, I would expect any working system to almost instantly be put up on the wiki, along with "Let's Play" or tutorial versions of how to make easy sustainable crop rotation systems for the noobs, so that they can pretty much just paint by numbers for vanilla crops.

An idea on providing better information to the user can be thus.
1. On world-gen, the raws for crops are read.
2. For each crop, based on its NPK-Ph-Carbo/Season requirement, determine which crops should be planted before it (for example, the system might suggest Dimple Cup be preceded by Rope Reed due to Dimple Cup's high potassium requirement with Rope Reed) and which crop is preferably plant after it.
3. Farm interface can, depending on the skill of your farmer (maybe an appointed position, Crop Master? Head Farmer? Farm Boss?), display which crop the current field can be grow effectively.  For example, after a long chain of growing rope reed, the rope reed option might turn light grey, yellow, then red to indicate the suitability of the farm to support this crop (dark grey for crop that cannot be grown this season).
4. Each farm plot, perhaps requiring book-keeper, can track the past harvest result (color coded), this allow player to review the result of their past scheduling and tweak it.


The three farming factors are actually rather arbitratry- they could be Nutrients, Minerals, and Acid, which could clearly be conveyed in a way that fits the theme, like "The soil is too acidic for this plant" or "The soil is rich in nutrients".
 
That would serve to make the mechanics more approachable.

Well, minerals are nutrients. 
I think his point is to simplify the system to what can be described.
Probably he meant something along the line of Organic, Mineral, and Acidity.

I still think this would be fine:
"Plant leaves look healthy"/"Plant leaves are slightly pale"/"Plant leaves are showing slight yellowing and somewhat small"/"Plant leaves are yellowing, new leaves are progressively smaller, and show ruddy undersides"/"Plants are stunted in their growth, and are discolored yellow and red"
The description should probably be in raw.  As DF is a fantasy generator, you might want to create plant that, well, don't have leaves (like fungus) or you want plants that behaves differently.

Thou that brings up a difficulty in figuring out what exactly the description meant for...
1. People who didn't read the raw.
2. People who don't farm.
Newbie might know that something is wrong, but they probably won't know what went wrong.
Logged
One of the toads decided to go for a swim in the moat - presumably because he could path through the moat to my dwarves. He is not charging in, just loitering in the moat.

The toad is having a nice relaxing swim.
The goblin mounted on his back, however, is drowning.

NW_Kohaku

  • Bay Watcher
  • [ETHIC:SCIENCE_FOR_FUN: REQUIRED]
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #486 on: July 28, 2010, 01:20:14 am »

The description should probably be in raw.  As DF is a fantasy generator, you might want to create plant that, well, don't have leaves (like fungus) or you want plants that behaves differently.

Thou that brings up a difficulty in figuring out what exactly the description meant for...
1. People who didn't read the raw.
2. People who don't farm.
Newbie might know that something is wrong, but they probably won't know what went wrong.

Well, like I said, an interface feature that will tell you how to solve your problem could be a good solution... but at the same time, when you are presented with something you don't understand, and which you know you don't understand, should produce a baseline reaction of just looking it up on the wiki or asking for help.  If the game tells you that you have a "Molybdenum deficiency", and you have no idea what Molybdenum is, that isn't confusing, that's just your cue to go look up what the heck Molybdenum is, at which point it probably isn't going to be confusing at all.  (After all, with the current game, when you were a noob, did you have any idea what a Plump Helmet or a Pig Tail is without having looked it up on the wiki?)

2. For each crop, based on its NPK-Ph-Carbo/Season requirement, determine which crops should be planted before it (for example, the system might suggest Dimple Cup be preceded by Rope Reed due to Dimple Cup's high potassium requirement with Rope Reed) and which crop is preferably plant after it.

Hopefully, it shouldn't be THIS easy, though.  There shouldn't be such an obvious set of nutrient replinishment and consumption that you can immediately tell what crop should follow what other crop.

To go back to peanuts, peanuts are a nitrogen fixating plant.  They still need all three of NPK, but they are capable of producing their own Nitrogen by absorbing it from the atmosphere.  Nitrogen makes up over three quarters of our breathable atmosphere, but the N2 form of Nitrogen is so stable that it is virtually chemically inert, and hence, nearly impossible for most plants to use.  This is why peanuts are such a good crop for crop rotation - most of the plant will simply wither and die, and the nitrogen that they absorbed can be returned to the soil for new plants to be grown... but peanuts are not an ideal crop.  That is the whole point of crop rotation, you cycle through the crops that are really good and useful, and mix it in with crops that are not as useful, or even outright useless, and are grown only to be killed and turned back into the soil (green manure). 

Nutrients like phosphorus, however, are not replenished by any plant that I know of, aside from venus fly traps or pitcher plants, which replenish P by eating insects to absorb their protiens.  The only way to replenish phosphorus is through fertilizer, especially manure, applied gradually, which means that you don't use a phosphorus-replenishing plant, you just grow crops that are light phosphorus consumers while you gradually rebuild soil phosphorus levels through replacing the P you take out of the soil in terms of crops with manure from the creatures that ate those crops.

Potassium is a nutrient that is actually really common in most soil types in a "nonexchangeable" form, but which is inaccessable to most plants because they are part of the soil minerals and are non-soluble, and most plants have trouble absorbing this kind of potassium, having to rely upon soluable, exchangable, freer-floating versions of potassium.  There are, however, a few ways to leech K from the soil minerals themselves, and one thing I read talked about using Italian Ryegrass to do this.  Trees, and many other surface plants generally rely upon a specific symbiotic fungus to do the heavy lifting of pulling K out of the soil, but this is a very slow process, and it is interrupted by the tilling of soil.  This is partly why letting trees grow so large (and having extensive, fungus-covered roots) helps trees fill with Potassium, which is why you can burn them for their potash.

Therefore, rather than having obvious "this crop should be planted before this crop" chains, it should rather be a set of "This is a nitrogen fixation crop" or "this is a phosphorus-hungry crop" or "this is a phosphorus-light crop", because any crop that is a low consumer of phosphorus or potassium (like, say, onions) would be interchangable with other low potassium or phosphorus crops (like carrots or celery).

(Of course, this is assuming we are not entirely pulling crops out of our butt that have unusual characteristics, which the underground crops almost certainly will, so it's entirely

3. Farm interface can, depending on the skill of your farmer (maybe an appointed position, Crop Master? Head Farmer? Farm Boss?), display which crop the current field can be grow effectively.  For example, after a long chain of growing rope reed, the rope reed option might turn light grey, yellow, then red to indicate the suitability of the farm to support this crop (dark grey for crop that cannot be grown this season).
4. Each farm plot, perhaps requiring book-keeper, can track the past harvest result (color coded), this allow player to review the result of their past scheduling and tweak it.

If we have a guildmaster for farming (name would probably be better as "Agricultural Overseer" or just "Farm Overseer") who tracks what is a good crop to plant, he should probably also be the "book-keeper" for previous crops.
Logged
Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
"Not yet"

Improved Farming
Class Warfare

NRN_R_Sumo1

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #487 on: July 29, 2010, 01:58:20 pm »

I typically use ratio of 1 in 10 dwarves being farmers, and none of them are ever legendary. I also have these farmers working as herbalists, so when they aren't planting I just open the door to the outdoor natural farm.

edit: Wait what was my point again?..

Oh right, If farming is made too complicated, early fortresses will die far too quickly, what I think is need is to have farming skills not affect the outcome of how many crops or the success of the crops, but the management of what Causes those crops to succede.

example: Urist McMexicano is weeding, removing weeds from farm plot squares that could be used for planting.
Urist McRedneck is scaring away vermin and birds from the garden.
Urist McPlow is tilling soil to make the ground take much less time for Urist McPlanter to plant in the hardened ground
Urist McPlanter is holding a BAG of seeds, planting each available square.
Urist McImpatient is straight off the vine instead of taking it to the stockpile only to pick it up again
(I couldnt think of any cultural types for planting or plowing, forgive me)
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 02:06:23 pm by NRN_R_Sumo1 »
Logged
A dwarf is nothing but an alcohol powered beard.

Draco18s

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #488 on: July 29, 2010, 02:14:02 pm »

You mean...like it was in the 2D version?  Where 3 in 4 forts died during their first winter?

And how real it is that new outposts (in the real world) frequently had food issues their first 3 to 5 years?
Logged

NW_Kohaku

  • Bay Watcher
  • [ETHIC:SCIENCE_FOR_FUN: REQUIRED]
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #489 on: July 29, 2010, 02:51:17 pm »

The objective of all this is to make farming more complex as it scales upwards, or as time progresses.

Farming on rich surface soil should be fairly easy.  It's already got enough nutrients to grow some kind of crops, and you just need the seeds an herbalist can provide to start growing them.  Your starting seven, honestly, should be able to survive simply on what they can find growing on the ground and bringing along livestock like milkable donkeys or cows, if their costs are brought down to more reasonable levels, and period between milkings is brought down (which is moddable, actually) to reasonable levels, as well.

The problem should be in scaling.  Wild berries and hunting wild animals can only support a relatively small population per area of land you are using.  You need farms after the first couple years as it should be more scalable than other forms of food production.  (Especially as livestock start to need grazing or being fed silage, so they aren't an easy alternative.) As time progresses, you need to do more to ensure that you are not depleting the land - at first, nitrogen becomes a problem, while potassium will only be depleted very slowly. 

Things like pests shouldn't be a problem early on, as pests and weeds are often particular to specific species of plants.  (For example, the Boll Weevil was a cotton-specific pest.  They devastated the cotton crop in the southern US when cotton was all they grew down there, but were no problem in other areas where other crops were being grown.) When you have only small farming operations, problems with pests should be lower.

When you scale up your production of certain crops, it's when you start making yourself vulnerable to crop-targetting pests.  (And even then, a more complex crop-rotation system may keep them as a lesser problem.)
Logged
Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
"Not yet"

Improved Farming
Class Warfare

NW_Kohaku

  • Bay Watcher
  • [ETHIC:SCIENCE_FOR_FUN: REQUIRED]
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #490 on: July 29, 2010, 03:09:04 pm »

Oh, and I'd also like to just say that people in general seem to think that current farming is "too complex" or "too difficult", but I really have trouble seeing it.  I mean, all it takes to irrigate an aboveground farm is to literally just make a screw pump next to a murky pool, with setting some dwarf to manual pumping for a few seconds, and - boom - instant muddied field.  (Of course, it's better if you clear away all the rocks and trees and shrubs first, but for simplicity, you can still get good results with just that.)  You don't even need to do something complex to get rid of the water, it will evaporate on its own. 

After that, just make the plots, wall the area off for safety, and start planting.

The same can be done underground, but it takes digging the channel from the murky pool (and probably a floodgate to cut it off) and making sure to cut off pressure if necessary before getting to the open area with the screw pump.

I have both my aboveground and underground farms up and running within the first game week.  That's quick and dirty but effective and not the least bit complex, and you only have to do it once.

Currently, the only reason for herbalists is to get seeds you can't find otherwise.  Once you have your strawberries and sunberries, there's not much reason to continue with those herbalists, and they should be made farmers, where they are much more productive.
Logged
Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
"Not yet"

Improved Farming
Class Warfare

Threlicus

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #491 on: July 29, 2010, 03:46:19 pm »

The proper way to differentiate between herbalists and farmers is to increase the amount of time a farmer needs to spend tending fields to get planting started. An herbalist needs a lot more territory to gather shrubs from, but they should get the advantage of not needing to spend any time planting or tilling, or fertilizer or whatnot -- nature takes care of that for them.

I think the calibration that ought to be done is how many people a farmer, having the fields having been set up, can reasonably feed for a year, if he himself is working full-time or essentially so. It might be a good knob for difficulty that Toady could give us. As it is, I think it is much too easy, once you get over the first hump of irrigating some soil -- which is a little tricky if you want to work with the underground seeds, but aside from that... I would rather see a dabbling farmer basically only able to feed himself (maybe even less), an adequate farmer himself and 2 others, and legendaries able to feed, say 10 or so dwarves; and you could boost it somewhat from that with appropriate fertilization or careful crop rotation as discussed in this thread.

Real medieval cultures had a large majority of the labor force in agricultural work of one form or another. I don't think we need to go that far -- only being able to support a few non-food-producing dwarves wouldn't be that good for gameplay, I think -- but one farmer shouldn't be able to feed 200. That's even better than the USA today, which is somewhat upwards of 50, and that's got a lot of modern tech available. Making it require investment in dwarven labor and skill to be self sufficient might actually make it useful for a fortress to import raw foodstuffs, particularly if it is in inhospitable locales...
Logged

Andeerz

  • Bay Watcher
  • ...likes cows for their haunting moos.
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #492 on: July 29, 2010, 04:16:37 pm »

I think farming mechanics and stuff as proposed and discussed by NW_Kohaku is pretty cool and would add awesomeness and interesting emergent phenomena to the game.  It would be a step forward in better representing agriculture in the game as the invaluable part of civilizational development that it is.

That said, I also want to point out that if certain features that are planned by Toady for DF are implemented, it might allow the player to forego farming in their fort altogether as well as make the suggested added complexity to the farming system much more compelling.  Things like the caravan arc, being part of a kingdom, diplomacy, controlling lands outside of the immediate vicinity, hauling etc. in addition to the improved farming suggestions could allow the player to set up food convoys to come to the fort and possibly delegate farming from afar to the AI, especially if land and people(dwarf) requirements for farming reflect better the amounts needed in real life. 

So, if you don't like managing farming, then, in this case, you wouldn't have to.  You can focus the economic activities of your fort to other things and have your impact on the world that way.  Make your fort focus on mining and refining ore (like the regions of Innsbruck and Sheffield famous in medieval times for their good iron), or make it focus on producing good quality armour (like medieval Milan), etc.  Leave the farming to the other peasants that don't live at your fort!

And if you like farming and find yourself on (or under) fertile land, you could dedicate the activities of your fort for converting the land surrounding and under your fort into the farmland needed to help support your industrious civilization, providing food for the other mountainhomes of your civilization.  Basically, the added complexity and realism to farming suggested by Kohaku and others could make a reasonable facsimile of agriculture as it functions in real life a possibility in DF. 

Personally, in addition to the suggestions stated before, I would like the number of farm workers and land needed to support a given number of people to be realistic given that other planned features get implemented, and the improved farming suggested here would be awesome for this.  I think of a scenario like this: I choose a land for my fort and find that the area I chose has rather fertile soil.  I decide that I want to play a farming fort to exploit this land and have my dwarves be part of that large majority of the labor force mentioned by Threllcus.  Burrowing underground or into the mountain would provide the living quarters, defense, and area for supplemental economic activities needed for supporting a farming fort/town.  Converting the land above ground and below into arable land would be the focus of my gameplay for this fort and my fort would generate wealth by exporting food.  The improved farming suggestions would make farming require much more thinking and planning (that I think would be fun!) in ways that I don't feel would be contrived and "gamey".  If DF allows control of outside lands at a later point and land requirements become realistic, I could have my dwarves convert vast expanses of land into farmland and set up the logistics necessary for defending and delivering my products to wherever.  I dunno if I'm being clear...
Logged

NW_Kohaku

  • Bay Watcher
  • [ETHIC:SCIENCE_FOR_FUN: REQUIRED]
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #493 on: July 29, 2010, 04:48:33 pm »

Andeerz:

Makes sense to me.

Although I can't say I'm terribly thrilled about putting in all this detail and then going through trying to come up with ways to make this information accessable to people and giving people the ability to automate a large portion of the process just to then say that you can simply rely upon imports from off-map farming.
Logged
Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
"Not yet"

Improved Farming
Class Warfare

NW_Kohaku

  • Bay Watcher
  • [ETHIC:SCIENCE_FOR_FUN: REQUIRED]
    • View Profile
Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #494 on: July 29, 2010, 05:09:32 pm »

Appropos of nothing, but this probably belongs in this thread, as it's a useful reference:

A huge number of plants actually prefer slightly to moderately acidic soil, it's all a matter of calibration:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil_acidity#Examples_of_plant_preferences

edit:

Here's another list, which includes some alkaline crops, as well:
http://www.plantea.com/pH.htm
Logged
Personally, I like [DF] because after climbing the damned learning cliff, I'm too elitist to consider not liking it.
"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
"Not yet"

Improved Farming
Class Warfare
Pages: 1 ... 31 32 [33] 34 35 ... 49