DF2014:How do I build a farm

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This article is about the current version of DF.

First select an area for your farm. Building a farm on a soil layer is easiest (farming in non-soil layers will require irrigation). Aboveground farms can simply be built on the surface (though this exposes your farmers to attack); subterranean farms will need to have a suitable area dug out underground.

Once you've decided on a location, open the build menu and select plot to build your farm. To define the width and height of your farm plot, use u to increase vertically, m to decrease vertically, k to increase horizontally, and h to decrease horizontally. Position the farm plot with the directional keys as normal. Once you are satisfied with the size and position of the plot, confirm it with Enter.

Esc out of the build menu. Now a dwarf with the "Farming (Fields)" labor will come and prepare the plot for planting. (If you don't have a dwarf with farming enabled, the farm plot won't get built.)

After your farm plot is built, open the query menu and use + and - to highlight the crop you wish to grow, then press Enter. (Plump helmets are a good initial underground crop.) You can press a, b, c, and d to see the scheduled crop for each season, and set them to the same or different crops. Make sure each season has a crop selected, otherwise you'll end up with an idle field for 3/4ths of the year. There is currently no advantage to rotating your crops or leaving your farm plots fallow.

From the query menu, you can press f to fertilize your crop with potash. Fertilized crops produce larger stacks of plants, which can be vital to grow your seed supply early on and your food supply later on. Pressing s enables the "Seas Fert" option, which automatically fertilizes this particular plot at the beginning of each season (assuming your dwarves have sufficient potash).

[edit] Help, my farmers won't farm!

  • Verify that you have farmers–that is, dwarves with the "Farming (fields)" labor enabled.
  • Verify that your farmers have free time–farming appears to be a low-priority task, so it's a good idea to disable other labors on one or two dedicated farmers. (Experienced farmers also produce better yields.)
  • Verify that the farm plot has a crop selected for the current season. (Each season must be set up separately, and some crops only grow in certain seasons.)
  • Verify that you have seeds for the chosen crop, and that those seeds are accessible to your farmers (not forbidden, locked behind a door, being carried across the map by one of your haulers, etc.).
  • Verify that your farmers can reach your farm plot (no locked doors, disconnected stairways, etc.).
  • Verify that your farm plot is acceptable. An underground plot that has been exposed to sunlight will never grow underground plants again. It may be necessary to remove the plot and rebuild it so that you can select aboveground crops to plant. Farm plots which are partially belowground and aboveground will never be fully planted. Additionally, some aboveground biomes (such as mountains and glaciers) are unsuitable for farming and will never grow crops.

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