40d Talk:Farming

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Farming in Winter[edit]

It appears that farm plots now have a menu for farming in the winter. Has anyone done this yet? --Karlito 00:42, 30 October 2007 (EDT)

Sounds like winter farming works fine. It's probably part of the general streamlining of temperature and whatnot (why would a tropical winter be worse than a glacial summer, underground?) --Doomclown
Spider Webs do not seem to depend on being near the water or farms now. Most I have seen appeared in a narrow valley on the outside of the mountain. --Silveron
Winter farming is working fine, I've farmed Plump helmets whole winter. No starved dwarves for me! --UltimaPhantom 15:25, 8 November 2007 (EST)

Farming aboveground issue[edit]

You're allowed to build aboveground farm plots on areas where you can't actually plant seeds, but it doesn't tell you this. Basically you have to make sure farm plots outdoors are built on biomes that have at least some vegetation (shrubs, grass doesn't count) in order for your dwarves to actually plant the seeds you set. Trying to farm on a mountain biome or any other that is listed with "Other Vegetation: None" will end up with the plot just being ignored. And there are now often multiple biomes in any given fortress map, as seen on the site selection menu when you start a fort. --BahamutZERO 21:23, 30 October 2007 (EDT)

Farming in the winter is handy now, but does any one know what it means when the plant type in the farm (when you pick out what yave our going to grow) is red? It won't let me grow it! --Comment by Rock n Rat and copy-edited by Savok due to its high level of unreadability
When the name is red, that means that, for whatever reason, that crop cannot be planted at that time. --Savok 20:53, 2 November 2007 (EDT)
This is most likely because it is late winter, and any seeds planted at that point won't have time to grow by the end of the year. It doesn't take into account the fact that the crops may still be growable in the spring as it does with the other seasons; something about the new year throws it off. --Hesitris 10:06, 18 November 2007 (EST)

Irrigation above ground seems bugged, and is certainly deceptive. Muddied ground is not a problem, and a farmplot can be designated and will get created. However, "no seeds available" is the only option for planting - usually. If the farmplot overlaps even a single tile of soil, you get the option to designate any available AG seeds for all 4 seasons - but they never get planted. (I designated two side-by side farmplots with identical seeds (in season), one over mud + soil, one over pure soil (and placed the soil to the right, just because). The latter was planted immediately (and replanted next season), the mixed-muddy was not planted in 2 seasons. --Albedo 17:26, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Mixed Plots[edit]

The following paragraph contradicts itself a couple times, which is the correct behavior?

The farm plot should be either entirely above ground or entirely subterranean. A mixed-class farm plot will allow you to choose any crop for planting, but the chosen crop will be planted only on tiles capable of growing it. Worse, planters will not skip over the infertile tiles, leaving the rest of the plot fallow whether it can support the crop or not.

Amstrad 17:07, 10 November 2007 (EST)

I think what it means is that the planter will plant until he reaches a tile incapable of growing, the stop completely. Let's say you have a 1x8 plot, and tile 3 is not capable of growing the crop. Tiles 1 and 2 will be planted, but the farmer will stop at 3. He will not skip over it and continue planting tiles 4-8. It is not contradictory, but should be reworded. --Valdemar 13:48, 18 November 2007 (EST)
What the writer mean by "mixed plot" is if you build a plot underground and open the roof in some place. The area(s) where you don't have roofing anymore will be considered as above ground, and the rest will still be considered by the game to be underground. --Eagle of Fire 18:09, 18 November 2007 (EST)

Food Hauling caveat[edit]

It was suggested that stone and wood hauling be turned off during planting season to prevent starvation. It seems more prudent to me that in case of eminent starvation to turn off FOOD HAULING so all the hungry dwarves can swarm the previously tasked foods. Then turn it back on and let them continue taking their time getting it to where it needs to be. Is this a bad idea? ~~

I don't think dwarfs will recognize food that hasn't been hauled from the field when they search for something to eat, that is, food doesn't normally go directly to the plate. There's also the part where foodstuff can wither in the fields if no one picks it up and moves it to a stockpile in time. --FJH 20:50, 7 March 2009 (EST)
I'm pretty sure this has nothing to do with food hauling, since plants in farm fields have to be harvested by someone with the Farming labor before they're even recognized as usable items, and farmers always store food in a stockpile immediately after it's harvested, even if they don't even have food hauling enabled. I'm also pretty sure I've seen dwarves grab meals off of the trade depot even when there's available stockpile space (I've definitely seen them drink booze straight from the depot and even fresh from the stills), so it should just be a matter of the "store item in stockpile/barrel" task being active (i.e. a dwarf is on his way to pick up the item, or he's already carrying it to the destination). --Quietust 02:25, 7 October 2009 (UTC)


That's got to be the most complicated possible way to present that information, which is already covered in a much clearer table on the crops page. It would also be horribly intimidating to the newbies. No offense to whoever took the time to make this monstrosity, but I think it should be axed, or at the least moved to the more relevant crops page. Mzbundifund 23:25, 28 November 2007 (CST)

You say it like Dwarf Fortress itself is not horribly intimidating. No offense taken, but, then again, farming is one of the most complicated aspects of the game and I spent quite some time trying to wrap my mind around it's quirks.
I made this illustration to help me plan workshops chaining, optimize hauling and quickly evaluate gathered shrubs. Tabular data on the Crops page serves great as a reference, but not so much as an aid in designing processes. Besides, some people like me comprehend such visual form of information easier.
This diagram is already linked on Crops page, and if people deem that image describing in detail farming workflow doesn't belong to Farming page, so be it. Nophotoavailable 02:49, 29 November 2007 (EST)
It's seems a great flowchart to me, especially the way it's linked in the corner so it doesn't dominate the page. Well done for creating it. Djp 05:46, 29 November 2007 (EST)
I appreciate the flowchart, and find it more useful for contemplating the system-as-a-whole than the table on Crops. Table's good for detail, bad for seeing relationships & alternatives, like "What are all the crops that I can use to make fabric?". Kidinnu 08:54, 29 November 2007 (EST)
Hah, I seem to be in the minority, if indeed there's even one other person who agrees with me. Fair enough. Mzbundifund 15:38, 28 November 2007 (CST)


I noticed that my unused farms, after a time, will show "No seeds available for this location". There doesn't seem to be anything on this wiki to talk about this. I later found out (by loo{{K|k}ing around}) that this is because the tiles underneath the plot were no longer muddy. Shouldn't there be a section to warn players that even active farms have some de-muddified tiles (farmers no longer walk on them, to muddify them), that should periodically be irrigated? --Akel Desyn 10:24, 3 December 2007 (EST)

Ooh, that happens? That's really important. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least two important things that need revision.
However, I use soil for farming (so far), so I shouldn't be the one to fix them. --Savok 14:37, 29 May 2008 (EDT)

Red crops[edit]

We should try to figure out once and for all what the reddened crops mean. The two most popular explanations I see floating around are either that there are not enough days left in the season to grow it and that the farm is not fertile enough. My testing has shown that it is neither. In late autumn (13 Timber, not enough time to grow anything) cave wheat and pig tails red out, while quarry bushes do not. Quarry bushes can't be grown in winter either, so something weird is going on. It's not fertility either, because the plots that have had nothing grown on them redden out at exactly the same time as the ones constantly used. --Valdemar 20:05, 27 December 2007 (EST)

I remember reading somewhere that farmers have to have experience with a crop dying from being planted too late in a season before they know when it's too late to plant it. Sounds implausible, but I wouldn't put it past Toady to implement it that way. Had your farmers ever planted quarry bushes "too late" before your test?--Maximus 01:28, 28 December 2007 (EST)
I've never planted quarry bushes at that fortress. Now that I think of it, I don't think I had any rock nuts at all. That's probably it. Crops only redden out if you have the seeds for them. I'll start a test fortress with no pig tails or something and see if I can confirm this. --Valdemar 09:21, 28 December 2007 (EST)
I've confirmed this. Crops red out if there are not enough days left in the season, but do NOT red out if you have no seeds. In my test, I brought rock nuts and plump helmet spawn only. In late summer, sweet pods did not redden out. In late autumn, only quarry bushes reddened out. However, I noticed another oddity. Quarry bushed reddened out when there were less than 25 days left until winter, even though they take 41 days to grow! I need to test whether they will wilt when planted between 41 and 25 days left. --Valdemar 10:28, 28 December 2007 (EST)
This is strange. It reddened out after I selected it and let it run for a game day (there were 39 days left in the season). Maybe the trigger for reddening is trying to plant it, not having seeds. This definitely needs more testing. --Valdemar 10:41, 28 December 2007 (EST)
Plants will red out if there is not enough time for them to grow in this season and they can't be grown in the next season (Otherwise they are just transferred to the next season). Dark red means there are still seeds on the plot of that plant. --Koltom 22:38, 4 March 2008 (EST)
I've experienced something completely wierd. My pump helmets have red out. I am in a Scorching environment and the field had just been made. It always happens towards the end of Winter as well. Currently in-game it's the 17th obsidian. It turned back to normal the first day of spring.Mission0 03:29, 4 August 2008 (EDT)
My environment isn't scorching, but I also have red plump helmets; it's the 15th obsidian, so perhaps it's a calender bug (no wrap-around check)? Chess123mate 17:09, 13 February 2009 (EST)

I've a farm plot where Plump Helmets are red - and you can grow them all year round! --Theory 13:50, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Was this during the winter? The last time I looked into this (though I think it's fixed), crops don't wrap around from year to year- so they don't check to see if you still want this growing in Spring during Winter like they check Winter during Autumn. Vaniver 22:47, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
I have this too, with the latest build, too. There also seems to be a slight variation in the red text. Perhaps one shade is for out of season, another for having grown too many of that same crop or something. [1] [2] I suggest the latter because all game I had planted just wild strawberries and prickle berries outside.
The bright red shade just denotes that it's the currently assigned crop for that season. --Quietust 13:53, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
In Late Winter, my plump helmets were red. As soon as Early Spring arrived, they returned to normal and planting resumed. --Ozymandias 16:01, 26 December 2009 (EST)


So you can choose to fertilise your plots with potash. How long does this last? How much more crop does a fertilised plot produce and if I fertilise more than once in short succesion, does it produce even more? Robje 17:33, 21 January 2008 (EST) And what does seas fert option mean?--Dorten 07:48, 7 February 2008 (EST)

seas fert - seasonal fertilization? - auto fertilize every season?
It seems so. The first time I saw it, I thought it meant fertilize with seaweeds (LOL).--Aykavil 10:08, 4 July 2008 (EDT)

I cant fertilize my indoor clay loam plot (probably not needed) - will now check silt. Muddy rock seems to work? --Koltom 23:03, 20 February 2008 (EST)

IIRC, adds +3 to crop yield. I may be wrong. VengefulDonut 00:06, 21 February 2008 (EST)

Ow. The Ghost of the English Language has been offended once more. --Savok 14:37, 29 May 2008 (EDT)


I've made 20 units of potash since starting my fortress (two 10-unit orders from the job manager) and have bought at least one unit from a dwarf caravan. Each indoor plot says Ft: 0/1, and the outdoor plots say Ft: 0/8. I have double-checked that all my plots say "Seas Fert (Y)." So why is it that I still have 21 units of potash on my inventory screen? Have they not been fertilizing? Why not? --RomeoFalling 09:11, 5 November 2008 (EST)

Fertilization is indoors-only on muddy plots, afaik. --GreyMaria 16:22, 5 November 2008 (EST)
So you can't fertilize indoor soil plots? All my farms are on Silty Clay Loam. *boogle* Now I'll have to figure out how to set up an irrigation system. Or, I suppose, just convert the potash to pearlash....--RomeoFalling 19:07, 5 November 2008 (EST)
Okay, now I'm even more confused. Today I loaded up the game, and within an hour, they fertilized my outdoor farms. The only difference is that I started filling the moat, which borders the outdoor farms on two sides each (one tile barrier). One of my indoor farms borders the moat on one side, but that wasn't fertilized. o.O --RomeoFalling 23:26, 5 November 2008 (EST)
'Irrigation' in DF doesn't mean having moats or channels, you actually have to get the ground wet. --Arkenstone 09:01, 12 August 2009 (EST)
My own testing shows that indoor farm plots won't respond to the fertilize command unless at least one tile is muddy (tested with dtil's tile editor). --Quietust 17:57, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Additionally, a freshly irrigated 5x5 indoor soil farm plot originally only indicated needing 1 potash, but after several seasons it started wanting 7, just as my aboveground plots. --Quietust 15:49, 4 September 2009 (UTC)


To my experience, the ceiling on a "greenhouse" can be made out of anything, my rock salt greenhouses work just fine. Eurytus 20:03, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

This is accurate. Floors of any variety let in light, even though dozens of levels of flooring. You can have an 'above ground' farm hundreds of feet underground.--Dadamh 13:36, 29 May 2008 (EDT)
IIRC, most (all?) floors do not let in light, but they do let in abovegroundness. --Savok 14:37, 29 May 2008 (EDT)
Cancel that. It's outsideness that they don't let it.

The paragraph on chanelling+roof to build a greenhouse seems off base. If you're going to build a roof, you may as well build walls around your field on high ground. --Aykavil 10:08, 4 July 2008 (EDT)

Not really, no. Using floors is just as good for farming as being aboveground, and just as secure as staying underground. Plus, just walling in an area has problems on top of that, such as triggering cave adaptation. LegacyCWAL 16:29, 20 January 2009 (EST)
Umm... pardon me, but walling an area in does NOT trigger cave adaptation, but building floors does. Walling the area in will cause them to vomit if they are cave-adapted, if that's maybe what you meant...? --Drake1500 02:48, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I meant. If you wall in an area, you're liable to have cave-adapted farmers barfing all over their fields. --LegacyCWAL 17:01, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Personally, I dislike the section Greenhouse, since it boils down to "constructions don't block light, so you can build an aboveground farm plot deep in the earth," which is one of those telling-people-how-to-play-the-game-not-just-how-the-game-works things that I find detract. Opinions? --Savok 11:28, 13 February 2009 (EST)

Rip out that guide and give it to 'em bluntly, like you say. But do note it's an exploit, we just consider it less of an exploit to use glass or grates. Isn't it really a "once lit by the sun, always lit by the sun" bug? --Jellyfishgreen 11:46, 13 February 2009 (EST)

Outdoor Farming Inside The Fort[edit]

If you like to grow berries on your farm, such as prickle berries or wild strawberries ( very common to most maps ) but dont like having a farm outside where your dwarfs keep getting scared by the wild life, then here is a simple solution!

Its simple, I have been doing this since the day I started Playing. Dig out your farms underground and place farm plots over them as usual, ( as if u would for growing Plump Helmet ) once you have your farm ready for plump helmets the get your Miner Dwarf(s) to go above and Channel down to the farm to allow for light to shine on the plot. I is Important to note that you DO NOT channel out the whole roof, this will cause parts to collaps and cave in, injuring your Dwarfs, it is best to channel a line out skip 2 lines then channel again

Like So:

                         ( . ) Is channeled space
                         ( - ) Is Un-channeled space

!!NOTE: you must have the first line of channeling on top of the first space of your farm,(the first square that the dwarfs plant on)Or else this technique will not work.!!

By using this technique you can give your Dwarfs both safely and a wide variety of plants to cook eat and brew. I suggest Once you have a simple fort up and running you make 10 small farms, Two(2) for plump helmet, Two(2) for wild strawberry, Two(2) for prickle berry, One(1) for fisher berry, One(1) for Whip vine, One(1) for Long Grass and One(1), if your lucky, for Sun Berries. This will allow for your dwarfs to have assess to varieties of fruits and alcohol, Also this will give you more ingredients to cook Lavishing meals with.

I Hope This Helps With The Agriculture, Good Luck On Your Fort!

Growth Times?[edit]

How are the times calculated when it comes to growth times? Does skill affect it? How about plant type? Is it a set amount every time? Also, should these answers be listed in the wiki if found out, or would they be too much of a spoiler? Shardok 09:30, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

added a bit bout that. --Birthright 14:15, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

One crop/season[edit]

Hey, could you explain better what is exactly meant by that? Do you mean only one type of crop can grow per season, or do you mean you can only grow *one* farms worth of crop per season? Because I've grown 2 or 3 different outputs of crop with good farmers. And I've also changed from Plump Helmet to Pig Tails midseason because I ran out of seeds and they went and planted the new crop type. Can you verify this? Shardok 18:21, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Well, looks like Höhlenschreck decided to change it himself, but my questions still stand if you actually do have a better explanation of what was meant by what you said. Shardok 22:30, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
It seems he and I disagree - I'll hold off until one or the other is confirmed. I said "one/season/plot" - one per farmplot (regardless of size, it's designated as only 1 crop type for each growing season), and one crop maturation per season, both.
(Edit - I was Wrong, Ignore!) Ime, if you plant a "fast" crop early in the season, it grows to maturity and can be harvested earlier - but if replanted you don't get a 2nd crop that same season, no matter how fast. More (and this I'm not 100% sure about), if you plant something that grows all 4 seasons, like plump helmets, you'll only get 400 crops in 100 years - fast growth doesn't "carry over" to speed up later harvests. But I've never done a long-term experiment that focuses solely on crops, so this is only from casual observation - namely, I've never noticed a crop ready to be harvested early in a season that wasn't left over from the last. Doesn't mean it didn't escape my notice, but that's what I've seen.--Albedo 22:46, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I suggest you do just that experiment - crop grow time carries over to both the next month and the next season. --Höhlenschreck 23:51, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Have to agree with HS on that one. You also seem to confuse month and season. And calculating from yield is just not working because thats determined by skill. --Birthright 00:00, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Just to clarify something Albedo said. He said 400 crops in 100 years. As in, 400 harvests of a single tile in 100 years. Which you seemed to have thought he meant 400 plants harvested in 100 years. Shardok 00:07, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I see. That would, less dramatically put, make 4 harvests in a year per tile and that is not true. At all. Make that 12 per year and tile for plumps. Or 10 to 11, if your farmer is bad, lazy or otherwise occupied too. --Birthright 00:38, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I was, indeed, dead ass wrong on that point - how embarrassing. It seems because I rotate crops, I've never had that "carry over" effect - bah. BR - thanks for removing the "arable" soil bits, and the other correction/repairs - Holenschreck needs to learn what "vandalism" really means (and/or just stop being lazy.)--Albedo 17:13, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

"borders on vandalism"; You were hiding a revert under a misleading summary. Afterwards you admitted on the disc that you never did actually check on the topic...once again you were acting overhasty --Höhlenschreck 22:00, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Stop being silly, that doesn't count as vandalism at all.--Richards 22:48, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

I rewrote that sub-section (Farming#Finding_farmland) - hopefully it's both clear and correct now.--Albedo 22:59, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

deepwater cultivation[edit]

Is there any effect on crops that grow in a 1/7 water tile, like higher harvest and/or faster growth? --Gnarker

Hydroponics? Hmmm - might drown the plants - dunno. I know water will drown saplings (and sometimes wild shrubs?). (Also, some plant types only grow as wild shrubs when near water, either a river bank or wetted area.) The game is rarely as simple as one would guess, and there are hidden mechanics everywhere. Try it and find out, report back?--Albedo 07:33, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, I just thought about something like the rice terraces as in asia. Further report when I have results. --Gnarker