Farming can be a part of many supply chains. Whether it is spruce up a decoration project, add a little spice to chef recipes, or literally some smuggler spice, the crops that grow on farms have many applications.
Hello there Legends! In a previous feature, we first introduced farming (and ranching) to the galaxy. Join us today as we take a focused look on a critical part of farming: how to care for your crops so that your farm is one to grow on!
Understanding Your Crops
Your crops have several attributes. Before we go too far afield talking, let's plow through some of these together.
Examine your plant (not your soil pile) to see the stats!
Every planted crop has the following attributes:
- Water Status: How much water is in the soil pile, out of a maximum 100
- Growth Stage: How mature the plant is: seedling, small, medium, then fully grown
- Acidity Level: Expressed as a percentage along with a label: Low, High, Great or Amazing
- Water Level: Expressed as a percentage along with a label: Low, High, Great or Amazing (not to be confused with Water Status above!)
- Nutrition Level: Expressed as a percentage along with a label: Low, High, Great or Amazing
- Lifespan: How long the plant will live
A plant can only produce product when it reaches the final Growth Stage. Since a plant has a lifespan, a good farmer is going to want to get the crop to Fully Grown as soon as possible in order to get the most product.
That's Some High Quality H2O
Remember, water status is not the same as water level. The former represents the soil pile while the latter is the crop. When the soil is watered, the plant can thrive. Failure to keep the pile wet will reduce the lifespan. Check this regularly and fill the piles with water either at the plant itself OR via the reservoir which you can manage at the Farm Terminal inside your structure.
The higher the Overall Quality of the water, the less you'll need to use to water your crops.
Perfectly Balanced, as All Things Should Be
The levels of Acidity, Water (in the crop, not soil!), and Nutrition will change over time. When you first plant your seedlings, examine your crop to see the current levels. This is expressed as both a percentage and a label.
The first time you plant a seed, all of the percentages will be 50%. But the labels will vary between Low, High, Great or Amazing. To encourage your crops to grow as fast as possible, you'll want to balance your crops to all have Amazing levels.
Every time there is a weather event, you'll need to revisit the levels and - unless you are super lucky - have to rebalance your levels. Weather events occur approximately every 3 days. You can monitor weather conditions at your Farm Terminal.
Your plants levels will change with the weather
Balancing your levels is done via fertilizer. There are near limitless possibilities for the types of fertilizer you can create an apply. We'll let you come up with your own system. But before you do so, we'll plant the seeds in your mind of just how to get started!
Facts About Fertilizer
Let's take a look at some fertilizer and see if notice anything interesting.
Did you happen to see that the fertilizer has Acidity, Water and Nutrition levels just like plants do? Well, now you know! Fertilizer has percentage values for each level. These percentages can be positive or negative numbers. You might also notice that the percentage could also be 0%.
Fertilizer have modifiers that affect your plant levels
Can you guess where we are going with this information?
If you guessed that the fertilizer percentages are used to affect the crop levels for Acidity, Water and Nutrition, you get one big green thumbs up!
Simply put, applying one charge of fertilizer to a plant will modify the plants levels by the percentage of the fertilizer in the respective categories.
For example, if we applied the fertilizer pictured above to a brand new planted seedling (which has 50% in each level), the plant would then be at 41% Acidity, 50% Water and 59% Nutrition. Another charge on the same plant would then move it to -32% Acidity, 50% Water and 68% Nutrition.
The levels can never go above 100% or below 0%, regardless of what the fertilizer levels are.
To make fertilizer, you need your trusty seed grinder!
The trusty seed grinder
When making fertilizer:
- You'll need THREE stacks of resources in the grinder.
- Those resources can be corn, rice, oats, wheat, greens, beans, tubers, fruits, berries, flowers, bone, wood, water, meat, eggs, horn, hide, seafood or milk
- Each stack has to be at least 1000 units
- If you want to use the same resource multiple times, split it within the grinder inventory
- Each Resource Class produces has its own numeric value that it contributes to the fertilizer (read on!)
We'll let you discover which Class produces what, but let's take an example so you understand.
By itself, Dathomir Animal Bone is worth -3% Acidity. That value is added to the values of the other two stacks you put in the grinder.
You can use the same Resource Class multiple times. (Hint, you split the bigger stacks within the grinder itself). What do you think would happen if we put in 3000 units of that bone and split it into 3 stacks of 1000?
The grinder requires three stacks of resources of at least 1000 quantity to make fertilizer
Look at that! It's a -9% to Acidity! This happened because each stack in the grinder - whether the same resource or not - will add their respective values together. That Dathomir bone was worth -3% Acidity. Splitting that into 3 stacks within the grinder makes that add up to -9%.
Combining different Resource Classes will create different combinations. By doing so, you can neutralize certain numbers, stack them really high, or anything else you want to do. Collect, combine and experiment to create your own supply of fertilizer. We'll let YOU find the best practices that work for you.
And remember: The better the Decay Resistance, Flavor, Potential Energy and Overall Quality - the higher the number of charges per item! A maximum of 20 charges per fertilizer is possible!
With our example fertilizer in hand, it can be applied to any plant. The picture below shows the effect the fertilizer has on a brand new plant. Applying it once lowers the Acidity to 41% (down 9 from 50). Applying it again, and now it sits at 32%.
From the plant, apply your fertilizer and watch the levels change!
Are you with us so far? Are you feeling like a seasoned farmer? Get ready because...
The Plot Thickens
Plants grow and produce best when all three values are fertilized perfectly to "Amazing" levels. These "Amazing" levels are a very specific % for Water, Acidity and Nutrition. They range from 1 to 100. That number is set when you first plant the seedling and then changes (up or down) every time there is a subsequent weather event. (Check that at your terminal, remember?)
Your job as a farmer is to use some logic and apply the right amount of fertilizer to land on each of those three "Amazing" numbers for your crop.
We'll give you the science behind it all and then set you loose on the farms to find your own way to farming success!
Consider the two plants below. Each starts at 50% but they each have their own unique (and secret) Amazing level. We've gone ahead and revealed the secret so we can understand the science. But when you perform your own fieldwork, you'll be on your own.
It would be simply amazing if you fertilized the top plant to 42% and the bottom one to 44%!
In the picture above, consider each row as two different plants. Each has their own "Amazing" value, but each starts at the same 50%. How can you find a number between one and one hundred? One hint is to look at the number of "Greats". There will be at most 5 "Great" levels on one side of the "Amazing". (We don't say "both sides" because the "Amazing" might be <6% or >94%.)
By understanding the structure of the "Low -> Great -> Amazing -> Great -> High" distribution, you'll be able to more effectively balance your levels.
Let's see if that seed of knowledge we've planted takes root by continuing the example.
The top one has an Amazing at 42% while the bottom one has its Amazing at 44%. You are starting at 50% and only know that you are "High".
- You apply a -3% Acidity Fertilizer to both plants to set Acidity to 47%
- For our example, we'll say both plants report "Great" Acidity levels
Since you are not at Amazing yet, you continue.
- You apply another -3% Acidity Fertilizer to bring the numbers to 44%
- The top plant reports a "Great" Acidity level.
- The bottom plant reports a "Amazing" Acidity level. Well done!
If you continue using the same -3% Acidity fertilizer on the top plant, you will overshoot the "Amazing" level and go into the next range of "Great". This should be an indicator to you that you have gone too far. (You have applied a total of -3% three times, each time landing on "Great". As you can see from the chart, it's impossible to do that and remain on one side of "Amazing").
If you keep doing that, you'll eventually hit "Low" levels and need to grab a new fertilizer to go in the other direction
Just remember, every time there is a weather change (approximately every 3 days), you'll need to check in on your crops to see how they are faring. That "Amazing" level could be anywhere between 1 and 100!
By perfectly balancing your crops (and watering your soil), you'll get the most amount of product before they reach their lifespan. There are also pesticides you can use to get even more fruits and vegetables. But that is a feature for another time, as is how all of these wonderful crops can be used.
We hope this feature has given you a better understanding of how fertilizer is crafted and used. As much as we produced today for you to digest, there's still a lot more to discover on your own; not least of which is your own particular system for managing your crops.
You have the basic knowledge now. And that's one to grow on!
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