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Author Topic: Improved Farming  (Read 79963 times)

Kurouma

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #495 on: July 30, 2010, 04:57:02 am »

Like some people have been talking about, a balanced soil nutrient system could be good for making the farming system more Fun - i.e, if players have to manage the industries for producing different fertilisers. One of the things I've come to love about DF is that the rock/soil type is geologically accurate. In real life, too, though, different soils have different compositions. Each rock/soil type is chemically different and so we get lots of variation in base fertility. Maybe a way to do this is by introducing a new parameter for each tile: each open tile layer (so not just open air but cavern floor as well) has a number score for how fertile it is, calculated based on its soil type (clay, silty clay, sand, etc) as well as the rock it's sitting on (schist, dolomite, orthoclase, etc). Say we have three main types of fertiliser; like bonemeal from carcasses, potash from wood, and compost from refuse. Each year, depending on your soil/substrate combo, you will need to apply fertiliser in different combinations. Maybe each tile of "loam on dolorite" will need 1 unit bonemeal and 2 units compost per year. Or "sand on karst" will need 3 units compost per year.
Also, the CATsplosion becomes useful if you need a lot of compost because your dwarfs are starving!
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azmodean

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #496 on: July 30, 2010, 01:57:39 pm »

Re: farming on rock
I can't recall where, but Toady mentioned that the ability to muddy rock and grow stuff on it is a bug, and will be fixed at some point.
Since reading that I've avoided using the exploit, which changes things a bit (particularly for more extreme maps.)

Even with that I still think the farming is majorly out of whack, I have a few farmers and two tiny (5x5) plots (in the caverns) outproducing my ability to even use everything I grow with over 50 dwarves.  Really I'd be happy with having that level of investment resulting in subsistence living (I agree that increasing field size isn't a very good balancer, though I'd prefer larger fields just for better believability), but the reality is that I have 100+ (and growing) of each type of underground plant, and I'm making more booze, thread, and other plant products than I know what to do with.  Oh, and my farmers are sitting around idle all the time.

I think the people saying that the NPK and related suggestions would make the initial fort too difficult are missing the point.  At embark you should be able to get subsistence farming out of whatever soil you have available.  The soil depletion shouldn't really start to have an effect for at least a year, and probably longer than that, at which point you're getting caravans, and industry is getting set up.  Even then it's only a problem if you do, "flood one 5x5 plot and expect it to feed the fort for the rest of it's lifespan".  Even if you just abandoned that plot and moved to another one, you could probably keep doing that and have good results from farming for many, many years.  Another point is that the subsistence crops would likely not be all that picky about their soil conditions, so again survival isn't really threatened.  Unless perhaps the "I'm sick of plump helmets" penalty were adjusted to the point where you couldn't get away with permanent subsistence farming anymore.  Even then it'd be a while before it would really be a problem.  So again, the scenario is that perhaps cave wheat (good/varied booze) and dimple cups (dye for cloth industry) would require fertilization to grow properly on bad soil, like clay or sand.  On the other hand, perhaps you luck out and get rich loam at embark, which means you can grow whatever you want with high yields for several years without having to worry about it.  That's another issue, for farming, pretty much the only variable is, "is there accessible water?".  Fixing the farming on rock bug would add, "is there soil?".  Adding some kind of soil quality system would change this to "is there good soil OR the means to fertilize the bad soil?".  In my mind, the more significantly different situations you can be presented with at embark, the better :)

A potential problem with this though, is destroying/rebuilding plots.  If the soil depletion isn't persistent, then it would make the whole thing pretty trivial, just requiring you to tear down and rebuild your plots once a year or so. 

On my first successful fort I made much larger fields (25x25 underground, 24x24 aboveground) and assigned a significant number of farmers under the assumption that it would be necessary, only to be flooded with foodstuffs, most of which I ended up just selling because I had nowhere to put it.  I have to say that was one of the biggest disappointments I've run into in the game so far.

Something I think people aren't super clear on is that there are two issues here, one is balance, and the other is breaking immersion.  The first isn't all THAT important to me personally, with the system as it is I'll just modify the raws to scale back production, avoid using the farming on rock exploit, and only produce as much food as I need.  (this does mean though that making a "breadbasket" fortress is pretty much pointless since it's so trivial to do).  I'd rather not have to do all of this stuff though, and I think the game would be better for having some of these things incorporated in the default game.  The real issue for me though is the loss of immersion when I have to scale back my farm plot to a single 5x5 plot OR LESS in order to avoid being swamped with food.  My image of this world is a tooth-and-nail struggle for survival, yet it's absolutely trivial to not only survive, but flourish through farming.
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Draco18s

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #497 on: July 30, 2010, 02:07:25 pm »

Re: farming on rock
I can't recall where, but Toady mentioned that the ability to muddy rock and grow stuff on it is a bug, and will be fixed at some point.
Since reading that I've avoided using the exploit, which changes things a bit (particularly for more extreme maps.)

Its not a bug, in that it is unintended, but that he'd like to remove it and replace it with something better in the future.  In the 2D version "muddied rock floor" was the only way to grow food.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #498 on: July 30, 2010, 02:13:21 pm »

Well, one of the things I want to do is make farming on rock a long-term development project.  You need to use special "rock-breaker" plants and fungi to develop a soil so that you can do serious farming upon it, so that you gradually build up a layer of soil to do serious farming. 

If players were not just given a default soil that is perfect for all farming right off the bat, but had to build up the soil, then we wouldn't even need persistant tracking of soil quality as a means of preventing players from just unbuilding farm plots and rebuilding them, they would be losing out on any benefits of using hard work to build up the soil.  (Especially if they start with acidic or alkaline soils, and have to lime or acidify the soil to make them farmable.)

(Of course, flooding with muddy water can bring in sediment that effectively just transplants a thin layer of soil on top of stone...)

But the problem with rock-breaking is that if we want to be really serious about it, we need to have some kind of extra variable above and beyond what we're already using to track how much the stone has been broken into soil.  (Unless rock floors are simply soils that have essentially no nutrients, and we make "rock breaker" crops into things that can limitlessly produce nutrients from nothing as a shorthand for breaking apart stone.)


I'm also going to try to make a mock-up set of crops to demonstrate what I envision for a crop rotation system... but that depends on how distracted and/or lazy I get, as well as how ambitious I try to get with stating these things.
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Draco18s

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #499 on: July 30, 2010, 02:46:44 pm »

I'm also going to try to make a mock-up set of crops to demonstrate what I envision for a crop rotation system... but that depends on how distracted and/or lazy I get, as well as how ambitious I try to get with stating these things.

Try to be realistic with it, that is, model cave wheat after real wheat, etc.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #500 on: July 30, 2010, 03:17:02 pm »

I'm also going to try to make a mock-up set of crops to demonstrate what I envision for a crop rotation system... but that depends on how distracted and/or lazy I get, as well as how ambitious I try to get with stating these things.

Try to be realistic with it, that is, model cave wheat after real wheat, etc.

Of course!

That's what's taking so long, all the research.

After all the research and detail I've done so far, why would I skimp out now?

I.E.  Cucumbers are an alkaline soil-tolerant crop (6.0-7.5 pH, although some of my sources argue), they are part of the squash family, so they are "heavy feeders" in terms of soil nutrients, require significant watering (but not outright marshy conditions), are Spring-Summer crops, and have a growing period of around 70 days (GROWDUR:840).

Actually, we might want to start changing this from a "seasonal" crop-growing cycle into being a temperature-based cycle.  I.E. you can't grow anything (aboveground, anyway) during freezing periods of the year, while, instead of just being in "the right season", we can have soil (ambient) temperature run when crops are capable of being planted.  (Cucumbers start germinating at around 65 degrees Farenheight.)
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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?"
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CapnMikey

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #501 on: July 30, 2010, 04:26:04 pm »

Well, one of the things I want to do is make farming on rock a long-term development project.  You need to use special "rock-breaker" plants and fungi to develop a soil so that you can do serious farming upon it, so that you gradually build up a layer of soil to do serious farming.

This is an awesome idea!  I had a similar one, where you'd use a "pulverize" designation to break the floor up into gravel, then water it, but I really like your idea of using special fungi.  Especially if that fungi couldn't be eaten/brewed/etc., it would make farming more of a commitment.

It's probably been mentioned (I've only skimmed this thread), but I would also like to see different classes of plants.  Like wheat, you have to plant and harvest each year, and the "wheat" IS the seed.  Other plants (berry bushes, etc.) you would just pick the fruit each season, and not need to replant.  Any discussion along those lines earlier in this thread?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 04:27:57 pm by CapnMikey »
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #502 on: July 30, 2010, 06:22:36 pm »

Oh, hey, since I'm not talking much about fertilizers in my next post, I'll just post this link here, since I found it while researching other stuff:

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/M1191.html

It's got a chart of fertilizer values for different common fertilizers, so it would be useful in charting out various values of fertilizers.

Oh, right, and...

Soil acidification occurs because of the fertilizers used, especially when adding Nitrogen (especially manure-type fertilizer).  Nitrogen-fixating legume crops also cause soil acidification (drops pH).  Potash, alongside raising K, also raises soil pH.  Certain types of Peat can be used to raise pH in organic gardens, as well.  I'll include this as a crop for the special purpose of being a fertilizer for other farm tiles.
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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
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #503 on: July 30, 2010, 09:18:55 pm »

Today, I'm going to start making up some sample crops, a little suggestion of how to build this in psuedo-code to illustrate the point...

(I am spoiling some things because I'm a sesquipedalianly loquacious SOB.)



I'll even try to turn this into a sort of mockup raw-code, although I won't put it all into raw form, as that is too much copy-paste drudgery.

Spoiler: Long section on format (click to show/hide)



Yeah, I'm editing in more crap as a header.


Spoiler: Implimentation ideas (click to show/hide)


With ALLLL that out of the way, I can actually start posting some crap:


Since I already had that one out there:

NAME: Kappa Gourds (Cucumbers)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Cross Brassica (Broccoli)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Rust Grass (ryegrass)
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NAME: Gracile Goober (peanuts!)
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I'm going to cut this off here, because this post is already pretty darn long, and because I've already spent the better part of the day researching crap, and I need to go to sleep.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 11:28:14 am by NW_Kohaku »
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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"

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Dante

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #504 on: July 30, 2010, 10:01:27 pm »

NW_Kohaku, let me just say that this is seriously fantastic. I hope ToadyOne consults you personally when he comes to do farming improvements.

NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #505 on: July 31, 2010, 06:46:19 am »

At least this gets easier as I go along... It was rediculously difficult to come up with the original few NPK values from soil testing, but after I have a few baseline values, I can pretty much just go off of "should be about 2/3s of that last one".

I'm going to try to put out a few more dozen of these, then try to give some example underground crops, as well.  (Which will be entirely out of my butt, because I'm not going to be making cave wheat be actual wheat, but a fungus, since it has to be non-photosynthetic.

Oh, and something else: Since I'm doing so many drinks, I think it's a good time to start referencing this idea here: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=61345.msg1395034#msg1395034 Along with doing more for farming in general, we can do more for stills and alcohol production, as well.


NAME: Bacchus Berries (grapes, which technically are berries) (I thought that "Bacchus" came from some alternate word for grape, but I can't find a link proving that now... maybe some derivation of "Vitis Berries" or Vine berries would be more apporpriate?)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Shadevine Heartfruit (tomato, a member of the nightshade family)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Glacier Shadevine (A tomato variety called the Glacier Tomato)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Waterlump Tuber (The Lumper potato)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 12:08:46 pm by NW_Kohaku »
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"And no Frankenstein-esque body part stitching?"
"Not yet"

Improved Farming
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #506 on: July 31, 2010, 06:46:56 am »

I want to throw in some "desert crops" here, as well as other exotic location crops (like jungle plants) to try and talk about diverse environmental farming.


NAME: Agave (based on the... agave!  I think it's a rarely enough discussed plant that it could slide in under its own name.  It's also called Maguey.  If we have to use the two-word plant names that are standard, however, maybe Teal Fleshyleaf.)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Aloe (Again, maybe this could be a "Spined Fleshyleaf" or something...)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Marsh Stalk (Celery)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Shortwater Grain (Rice)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Ducklily (Azolla)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 09:51:53 pm by NW_Kohaku »
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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
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #507 on: July 31, 2010, 06:50:32 am »

I probably won't need THIS many, but just in case...  I'm thinking of maybe being more diversified in climates for talking specifically about seeds, though.  So you can't find every kind of seed wild in every non-freezing biome with the exception of the good or evil or savage seeds.  Some are specific to deserts or forests or swamps or the like.


I'm going to put underground crops here.  I figure there will be less of them in this version as well, especially since there will be only one underground climate, while we could differentiate crops by climate when talking about aboveground crops.


NAME: Plump Helmet
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Floral Mycotree
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Weeping Mycotree
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Blue Carpet
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Pig Tail
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Sapphiric Rock Mold
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

NAME: Muck Yew
Spoiler (click to show/hide)


« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 02:54:27 pm by NW_Kohaku »
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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"

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Draco18s

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #508 on: July 31, 2010, 11:36:57 am »

Quote
Of note, however, is that not all crops have the same nutritional value.  The an arbitrary mass of onions do not feed the same amount of people as the same mass of rice will feed.  Onions are not particularly nutritious crops (and notably, do not consume nearly as many nutrients as rice will), so may need to have its harvests kept artificially lower than they would really yield as a means of kludging the larger number of onions you would need to eat to get the same nutrition of eating more nutritious foods.

While true, would it be possible to measure 1 unit of food as a "nutritional unit."  E.g. you grow food and you get less onions per yeild, but each unit has the same nutritional value as 1 unit of rice.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Improved Farming
« Reply #509 on: July 31, 2010, 09:37:03 pm »

I know, that's what I have to do, barring a nutrition suggestion integration.

It's a little hard to balance all this stuff when I have to keep in mind how much longer some crops go between bloomings and others...

I'm also wondering how many crops I should allow per tile... what I'm coming down on will basically be giving players enough food to feed 1 dwarf per 2 tiles, even with crop rotation systems that mean land goes fallow occasionally.  Should I be cutting this even more?

edit: Oh, but what we really need, like I said in Volume and Mass, or in the Down With Prepared Meals threads, is for creatures to have food needs based upon their size.  Currently, you can get all the "water" you need to survive by licking the mud off your boots.  All creatures that eat will eat the same amount per year.  What needs to change is that larger creatures need to eat more food.

This isn't eat more than 8 times a year, this is eat more than one unit of food per meal.

As a baseline, the average human eats 200 kg of food a year, (and divided by 8, that gives us a nice, clean 25kg food per meal).  As the size of creatures goes up or down from there, we can say that they need to eat a greater or lesser amount of nutrition per meal based upon that.

This will become especially important when we start ranching animals that need to eat, themselves - why keep dogs around when elephants eat just as much, and produce 500 times as much meat?!  Elephants, meanwhlie, realistically eat 50 kg of food per day, so their 1/8th of the year meal should be around 2300 kg of food... plus they drink around 200 liters of water a day.  If they are just grazing, they need 109,500 kg of grazing grass per year.  Good luck feeding a herd of war elephants...
« Last Edit: August 01, 2010, 09:22:25 am by NW_Kohaku »
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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
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