Hey there. I’ve had lots of fun playing Banished with The North. This mod is basically a masterpiece. I’ve got some questions about farming, though.
1) In the wiki the yield for most farmable crops/fruits shows a range. E.g. Barley 24 – 32 from 4 tiles. Is the range based purely on education meaning an uneducated farmer gets up to 24 yield per 4 tiles (when the field shows 100% yield before harvest) and an educated farmer gets up to 32 yield per 4 tiles? I don’t have educated workers yet with brick being hard to get but this is what I have assumed until now.
2) The second question is about rye vs barley and the value of flour and breadmaking. Is it ever worth it to grow other grains than barley in fair/harsh climate? I want to make bread, but it feels inefficient to not just grow barley only based on the yields I’ve seen so far.
I did some tests in my fair climate game without educated workers. First I had 9×9 fields with 1 farmer each and I would tell them to harvest early if it seemed necessary. Average yields were as follows after three harvests:
Second yield test was with 10×5 (so small since I wanted many fields to compare other crops at the same time) fields, 1 farmer each and averaged over 5 years:
I rotated the fields occasionally between the tests to reduce the impact that slight differences in location and closeness of warehouses etc would have on the results. Still, it looks like it’s just better to build more barley farms than to bother with rye farms + a windmill (+ a granary worker?) + a bakery. Not only does barley have much better yield than rye, it also is more cold resistant and as such achieved 43-44% higher yield on average compared to rye.
3) Any tips to maximize the amount of grain going to the windmill + bakery rather than being hoarded into houses by villagers?
4) Pumpkin is suggested as having the highest potential yield of all vegetables. However, the yield numbers in the wiki show the same max yield as several other vegetables e.g. potato and beans and a lower max output than cabbage. Is there something I’m missing? Also, a small typo on either Crop Plants or Pumpkin – pumpkin growth time is 3 months on one page and 4 months on the other.
2) 60 rye produce 69-72 flour. 24 flour produce 36-40 bread. Barley produces more crop per tile, but rye/wheat produce far more food per tile. Bread production is far more efficient in terms of space and labor compared to barley/turnips alone.
3) That is where you can lose efficiency of course. Proximity is king. I have tended to overbuild bakeries. Also you can use the granary and man it to pull rye and flour from the food chain so that it gets baked.
It’s true that if one is able to convert 100% of the rye to flour and 100% of the flour to bread then they will make more food from the same number of fields. However, 100% conversion rate is far from a given and importantly the flour and breadmaking process requires workers who will be eating as well…
In the ideal case for rye you get an extra 72.5% of food from the milling and baking process. If you only convert a part of the rye and flour then you get significantly less than that. I was getting perhaps an extra 30-35% food from the process. Compared to that in my various tests with fair climate my barley yield was in practice 43-44% higher than rye. That’s because not only does barley have a higher yield, it also is more cold resistant.
Basically, I’d almost make more food with 4 barley farmers than with 7 villagers in the rye chain (4 rye farmers + a granary worker + a miller + a baker). I want to try Ironman next and it seems like a hard sell to bother with rye in any climate when barley is so good.
Theoretically, if one is extremely limited in space so making extra barley farms is not an option and if one can convert near 100% of the rye to bread then it might be worth it. Not sure how commonly this would be the case.
Thanks a lot for your questions. I think they point out some problems with the last mod version. I hope, I will find some free time over new year to work on an update. There was already a change prepared to improve the grain production chain..
1) Yes, these ranges mean just the difference between uneducated and educated workers. If there is only one number, then there is no difference. A random yield modifier is not possible.
2) The idea is to give both grain types a use in game, based on historical background or realism. So barley used as porrige especially in the old times and in the far north vs. rye as the common grain suitable to bake bread in a developed settlement. That means barley needs a higher plain yield and also a better cold resistancy than rye with the latter being superior after investing in milling, baking and education. The circumstances are defined by climate, space, distances, materials and education. That gives some interesting combination of cases where one or the other grain is better and it should not be a nobrainer for the player. I think, on paper it works already quite well but as you say, barley might be the winner in too many scenarios. The reason is probably that logistics is messing up the rye chain. A solution I was working on already was making rye and wheat inedible grain that can’t be piled in houses and a granary that works with wheelbarrows for much more efficient transport. If that is not enough, the productivity of millers can be slightly increased as well.
3) In current version you can optimize it by minimizing this part of the rye chain. So keeping short distances between fields and the mill. Also, people should actually not pick food from the granary if they life in the radius of a marketplace or a village shop.
4) I compared wiki and code of the latest version and the wiki is correct. Pumpkin was maybe missed when other crops got a buff and the text still tells about biggest yield for educated farmers. So whenever an update comes, there will be increased yield for pumpkin with still 100% education gap.
Thanks for the reply. Inedible rye and wheat sounds very useful. And glad to hear there is a chance of a new version some day.
Needless to say, I’ve been playing this mod a lot lately – great new Banished experience.
lauriO – I think your analysis is correct now. I swapped to barley (on fair climate settings) and it is unquestionably superior to bread-making. Like Tom mentioned, if rye (and flour) were inedible, then rye would win out. But on fair/harsh with present settings, barley yields more overall at maybe 60-70% of the labor force needed.
My biggest logistical problem was having a granary near the fields and the workers of course. These workers’ homes would take too much rye and flour from the granary before the grain could be converted into bread. However, not having a granary and homes near the fields will drop the yields to death.
So, in addition to making rye/flour inedible, another option could be for granaries to not act as food supply for homes and for markets to not fetch from granaries.
Another potential effect of inedible rye/wheat and flour could be that it would allow the breadmaking process to not collapse during famine.
The output of buildings like the windmill, ovenhouse, salt cabin, smokehouse, etc drops quite drastically when food runs low. This causes a cascade effect where an already insufficient food production collapses much further causing a lot more deaths. With inedible rye/wheat/flour that food production chain should in theory not collapse in these scenarios assuming the dying food producers keep getting replaced.