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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Emperor: Game Help » Farm production and irrigation, or: Pecunia is confused
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Topic Subject:Farm production and irrigation, or: Pecunia is confused
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Pecunia
CBH Seraph
posted 10-22-02 06:16 ET (US)         
This morning, I decided to do some tests with farm production and the effects of irrigation. I choose an open play map to do this (settings: Steel age, peaceful cities, no disasters, Map: Fo Yu Testin, random seed: this)

Climate: humid
Crops available: Rice and Soybean

I built a small city of 252 people, set up a farm, warehouse, inspector and well, and also an irrigation pump, which could be switched on/off if needed by a road tile. I laid out a farm, waited a year, let the harvest go into the warehouse, and noted the amount of food the farm produced. Food was then either given to the heroes or deleted (delete warehouse & rebuild warehouse). I tested 2 or 3 years per farm 'layout', and tested with both not irrigated and all irrigated. The results I have confuse me, and not just a little.

- In the following situations, North is always in the top left corner.
- The table with production lists 2 numbers for every situation, the first is the one I got in the first year, the second in the second year. After that the numbers repeat (if they are different).
- In all situations, there are 36 rice paddies, and 33 soybean fields. Fertility is 65% on all tiles.
Legend:
soybean field
rice paddy
farmhouse

Situation 1:
<><><><>
<><><>
<><><><>
Farm House
<>
<><>
<>
<><>
<>

Production:
Not irrigatedIrrigated
Rice151575
Soybean11101212

Conclusion: do NOT irrigate your rice fields!

Situation 2:
<>
<>
<><>
<>Farm House
<><>
<>
<><><>
<><><><>
<><><>

Production:
Not irrigatedIrrigated
Rice13131312
Soybean11111616

Conclusion: you can irrigate your rice fields or not, the production will stay about the same. But.. be sure to irrigate your soybean fields.

Situation 3:
<>
<>
<>
Farm House
<>
<>
<><>
<><>
<><>

Production:
Not irrigatedIrrigated
Rice121220(!)20
Soybean111188

Conclusion: WOW, you'd better irrigate your rice fields! but be sure you don't irrigate the soybean fields...

Situation 4:
<><><>
<><>
<>
Farm House<><>
<><>
<><>
<><>
<><>
<><>

Production:
Not irrigatedIrrigated
Rice11111212
Soybean991411

Conclusion: is this how it is supposed to work?


I am really confused at the outcome.. the amount of fields is the same in every layout, yet production sure isn't the same. Any thoughts on this?


Angel Pecunia | HG Downloads programmer and techie
Caesar IV Heaven | Children of the Nile Heaven | Citadel of Poseidon (Zeus/Poseidon) | The Great Wall (Emperor)
AuthorReplies:
smallmoskito
Pleb
posted 10-22-02 06:39 ET (US)     1 / 49       
worker not attending to each and every of the farm patches?

just my guess

Debbie
Pleb
posted 10-22-02 06:52 ET (US)     2 / 49       
was your irrigation ditches in the same place every time?
Pecunia
CBH Seraph
posted 10-22-02 07:14 ET (US)     3 / 49       
smallmoskito, that could be, but it should average out: when 1 field gets more workers and another nearly none, and when both fields get the same, it should be about the same. Also, the farmers followed (as far as I could see) the same pattern with and without irrigation, so the production shouldn't differ so much, like 15 rice without irrigation and 5 or 7 with irrigation

Debbie, yes, the irrigation ditch was in the same place every time, I just gave/didn't give the irrigation pump labor, the rest stayed the same.


Angel Pecunia | HG Downloads programmer and techie
Caesar IV Heaven | Children of the Nile Heaven | Citadel of Poseidon (Zeus/Poseidon) | The Great Wall (Emperor)

[This message has been edited by Pecunia (edited 10-22-2002 @ 07:16 AM).]

Debbie
Pleb
posted 10-22-02 07:43 ET (US)     4 / 49       
maybe its WHERE your irrigation ditches lie
Pecunia
CBH Seraph
posted 10-22-02 07:54 ET (US)     5 / 49       
I have no idea.. I'm even more confused now: I took the save from situation 3, deleted the farm & fields, rebuilt the farm & fields, exactly the same as where they were, and now I got 8 bean curd & 12 rice WITH irrigation every year..
Baltic
Pleb
posted 10-22-02 08:15 ET (US)     6 / 49       
Hello Pecunia
Hmmm.. that's very interesting. I just bought Emperor last Friday (that's as soon as it appeared in distribution here, I was checking it on a daily basis :P), and I didn't see irrigation yet... but I was very curious how irrigation works. This seems to show that it doesn't work

Just where was the irrigation ditch, Pecunia? It could be of some importance... range of irrigation is 5 tiles, if I remember correctly - so if it's on one side only, not all fields of the farm will be irrigated.

Another idea... I haven't planted these two crops yet, so I'm not sure how much their cycles overlap. Also, I don't know yet how farmers choose fields on which to work. Sometimes it seems they absolutely overlook certain tiles.. though it may be coincidence, I observed it on a mixed farm with millet and cabbage (i.e., almost simultaneously growing crops).
Now I'm shooting blind, but what if the farmers choose the tile to tend as the one being nearest from certain point (e.g. farm "door" - that is, where it touches the road - or Northern corner?) that has reached certain level of growth? There are 5 visible phases, so let's ASSUME this: Farmer goes out and looks for the "nearest" tile that is at or slightly above one of these values : 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%.
Then it can happen, that after irrigation, certain irrigated tiles are already at 50% when they "should" be around 40%, so they are skipped in favor of some non-irrigated tiles that were at 40%. As a result, these non-irrigated tiles are visited more frequently and so yield more crop. If the game is looking e.g. clockwise from a certain point, then switching the location of rice and soy fields can have deciding influence.
NOTE: This was just an assumption to start discussion. I don't know how the game decides in which order farmers will work on the fields.

Don't beat me if I'm all wrong .. as I said, it's just a blind shot, I didn't observe farming closely enough yet. If you would like to continue your testing, Pecunia.. here are some tips how to minimize influences similar to the one I mentioned:
- test farms with only one crop
- don't place the fields on all available tiles; 1 row less (9 tiles) should be enough to make sure all tiles recieve proper treatment
- pause the game just before harvest and write down the percentages of individual fields instead of counting the amount of food in warehouses.

Anyway, thanks a lot for sharing this... I think we could find something very interesting and probably useful while exploring farming and irrigation.
Good luck,
Angel Baltic

Pecunia
CBH Seraph
posted 10-22-02 08:39 ET (US)     7 / 49       
This is how the setup was, with irrigation ditches, and as you can see, ALL tiles are irrigated. (ditches have indeed a range of 5 tiles)
Farm House
Irrigation Pump

The cycles overlap a lot: soybean is planted in May and harvested in September, rice is planted in June and harvested in October.

I continued watching those farmers in situation 3 for a few years, they are doing exactly the same 'cycle' every year for tending the fields, even after I deleted the lot and replaced every field. Yet the production was different with the SAME layout.

I will test some more, but not today, nor tomorrow.. I have an exam tomorrow afternoon and I should be studying now
Thanx for the tips

JimMRooney
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 10-22-02 15:26 ET (US)     8 / 49       
The more I look at farm production & layout, the more confused I get. My first inclination is to ignore the whole thing and just concentrate on whether there's enough food to feed my people. Another part of me wants to know why its doing what its doing. Because its a computer, there has to be a logical explanation.

Putting my own experiences ( http://caesar3.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/caeforumscgi/display.cgi?action=ct&f=19,4452,100,20 ) together with a post by Dnme ( http://caesar3.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/caeforumscgi/display.cgi?action=ct&f=19,4585,20,20 ) and judging from your results, I'm leaning toward tender walkers "pattern" having a big effect on output. I've observed that the tenders start from the point where the road touches the farmhouse. In my initial tests the road was at the top-left corner of the farm. (Sorry, but the whole north, north-east thing always confuses me, so I'll orient it as it shows up on screen.) The tenders started near the top corner and ended up at the bottom corner. I assumed they picked a close tile to their starting point and worked their way down from there. Now, I'm guessing they still start out where the road touches the farm, but they probably go to the top tile area (north?) first, and work their way down. This would help to explain the different yields.

The difference (or lack thereof) between irrigated and non-irrigated isn't really explained by this, but as Baltic was saying may have something to do with how the tenders choose their next tile. I would wager the designers intended irrigation for rice to behave as in Situation 3, while soybean was supposed to behave as in Situation 2.

My personal preference for laying out a 2 crop farm is to alternate 3x3 plantings of each crop. If my above theory is true, this helps average out the yields for each crop (which is usually what you're shooting for).

WolfDaddy
Pleb
posted 10-22-02 16:26 ET (US)     9 / 49       
My first inclination is to ignore the whole thing and just concentrate on whether there's enough food to feed my people.

Jim, you're where I'm at with food in the game. I've given up on trying to estimate how much food I'm producing, and overproduce/over-irrigate as a result. It's not really an annoyance for me...as long as I have food, that's what counts...but I *have* come to expect the CBS games to have a logical reason for every displayed behavior, even if it's not immediately apparent.

Back in my C3 days, I posted as "EyeClaudius" and found a problem where the market lady chose her granary based on an 'as the crow flies' method--if the granaries were equidistant on a straight line, the buyer had an equal chance of choosing either one, even if one was "next door" and the other on the other side of a mountain range via the road network--and it drove me nuts that no one, not even the developers, could find an explanation for the longest time. When the explanation was found, though, it was logical, so I'm certain the same holds true for Emperor, you just have to have more patience that I do. :-)

So more power to ya in your quest! :P

kach
Angel
posted 10-23-02 21:09 ET (US)     10 / 49       
Pecunia, I was so fascinated by those figures that I did some testing. I have been planting 2 farms of all rice. Its very difficult to do a controlled test because changing the location of the road, changes the results. So I used the same access road for all test.

I have found:

1. Irrigation for whole growing period reduced output by 3.
2. Irrigating in October only (harvest time) reduced the output by 3.
3. Pausing the game at the start of October, I found that the fertility never changed and that the % complete for each tile was always the same, regardless of whether the tile was irrigated or not.
3. The sequence for building the rice tiles is important. If the road is placed first, and all rice tiles are placed by dragging from one corner to the diagonally opposite corner, the results will be consistent. It doesn't seem to matter which corner, or wether the map is rotated or not. I always got the same % complete from each tile at the start of october, and the farm workers always worked the fields in exactly the same pattern. (I had two farms, one I used as a control and one where I kept deleting the road and all the rice tiles. It is necessary to delete all the rice tiles because the sequence seems to matter. I could see this by the growth rate for tile that had been rebuilt after the road had been deleted. These tiles would have been the last three placed and they had noticibily less growth that the surrounding tiles.)
4. I tested step 3 on two different maps (I'm using Zhou Two ways and I also tested this in Shang Valley of Rice) and the results were the same. If I built the farm with the same access road and placed all the rice tiles with one corner to corner drag, I always obtained the same % complete figures and the same number of bags of rice.
5. Placing rice tiles in clusters of three gave varying results. The farm workers started to walk different routes accross the tiles. There seemed to be different numbers of workers in the fields. (Mostly there were less than my control farm, but not always.) I didn't record any % complete figures (I got bored, and besides, I'm not very good with numbers) but the rice yields varied from 17 to 23.

Maybe after I've recovered from this bout of industry, I'll do some more work to find out what the optimal road access and sequence might be. Anyone got any suggestions of the sort of patterns to test for the sequence? I did test the city's feng shui. No difference. The farms always have a green footprint of course.

JimMRooney
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 10-23-02 23:17 ET (US)     11 / 49       
Well, kach, if you're volunteering there would be 12 different 1x3 road accesses around the farmhouse. I'm curious to know why the location of the road makes such a difference. If we could figure out why, maybe BreakAway could change it in "The Patch". I don't think they intended this to be this complicated.
zhou enlai
Pleb
posted 10-24-02 01:48 ET (US)     12 / 49       
Kach what was the climate of the map that you were building on?
EJay
Pleb
(id: EmperorJay)
posted 10-24-02 05:33 ET (US)     13 / 49       
Theory about the diffirent harvests:

In Pharaoh, farms would only regain fertility after being flooded.

In Emperor, fields have a given fertility which doesn't change. But is that really true?? Do harvested fields still have the same fertility?? I know, when right-clicking, the pop-up screen says: 65%. But that's what that screen says!! Does the pop-up screen give the correct information??

Pecunia
CBH Seraph
posted 10-24-02 05:42 ET (US)     14 / 49       
Interesting find, Kach..

I did an additional test with road connections to the farms in 8 different ways (I didn't bother to do the other 4, or rather, didn't have employment for 4 more farms & didn't want to build more houses )

Numbers = road connection, N = north:
N1.2
8Farm3
..
74
6.5

Anyway, my farm layout was as follows, 24 wheat fields, 24 soybean fields (rotate and mirror the whole thing to get the 8 different farms)

Farm House

wheat
soybean

I laid out the farms (without irrigation), saved the game, let it run until the wheat harvest, wrote down the wheat production of each farm, let it run until the soybean harvest, wrote that down. Went back to the save, added irrigation, and did the same. The results (again) suprise me:

layout #without irrig.with irrigation
wheatsoybeanwheatsoybean
11011118
210989
31110913
4111 01412
510114 (!)13
699158
71011716
89101014

[edit]: all done on a temperate map (Juchengshi, lovely test map) & in steel age


Angel Pecunia | HG Downloads programmer and techie
Caesar IV Heaven | Children of the Nile Heaven | Citadel of Poseidon (Zeus/Poseidon) | The Great Wall (Emperor)

[This message has been edited by Pecunia (edited 10-24-2002 @ 05:43 AM).]

kach
Angel
posted 10-24-02 16:03 ET (US)     15 / 49       
Pecunia, those results sort of confirm what I found for rice. With my results, the 4 roads you didn't test produced some of the worst results.

By the way, I'm testing in one of the campaign maps, Ying; humid climate and probably bronze age. No irrigation.

Results starting from the north and working anticlockwise: (guess its because I'm from downunder? )

NNW 21
NW 20
WNW 21
WSW 19
SW 19
SSW 22
SSE 23
SE 22
ESE 22
NE 17
NNE 18

My best performer SSE would correspond with your number 4. In every case, I planted the crops by dragging from north to south. Changing the the way the crops are planted seems to change the results.

kach
Angel
posted 10-25-02 02:44 ET (US)     16 / 49       
More unusual facts.I tested exclusively using the SSE road (Pecumia's loction 4).

Rice dropped from 23 to 18 when irrigated.

Irrigation effects only seem to apply to the harvest month. I couldn't change the results by turning it on and off during the growing months.

I did a test with cabbage on the same map (humid, bronze) and got 23 when irrigated and 16 when not.

I did a test with cabbage on a temperate map in the iron age and got 21 when irrigated and 22 when not. This is totally INSANE!

Farms need one tile border of 'ideal cropland'. Percentages fall off if farm is right next to 'rich cropland'.

The only consitent figures I have noted are the % complete. If you always place the road in the same spot and always place the crop tiles the same way, the farm workers always walk the same path and you always get the same % complete. I have tested this using a farm with SSE road on both humid and temperate maps, and with rice, cabbage, wheat and soy.

So it looks like that % complete figure is just the base used for production calculations.

By the way, if anyone is interested, I have the complete set of % complete figures for the twelve farm layouts. (All for crops placed by dragging from N to S.)

zhou enlai
Pleb
posted 10-25-02 21:50 ET (US)     17 / 49       
Here are some figures that I have from a couple tests for irrigation. I'm not finished testing in the steel age yet though.
Bronze Age:
In a temperate climate, a non-irrigated cabbage field of 69 tiles gave me a consistent yield of 15, three years in a row. The exact same farm in the exact same place gave me a consistent 21 yield per year for three years when I irrigated it. Every tile showed 65% fertile. Cabbage seems to do well with irrigation.

A silk orchard that was not irrigated of 57 tiles gave a yield of 6 first year, 7 second year, 6 third year. The same farm in the same place gave me yields, when irrigated, of 9 first year, 9 second year, 8 third year. Again fairly consistent. A silk orchard responds somewhat to irrigation.
Iron Age:
A millet crop non irrigated gave 15 first year, 17 second year, 17 third year. When irrigated I got yields of 17 first year, 17 second year, 17 third year. Seems as if millet does not respond to irrigation.

That's what I have so far, hopefully someone will find these figures helpful. My results seemed to be consistent. Maybe irrigation doesn't have an effect on some crops.

WaterScribe
Pleb
posted 10-26-02 01:03 ET (US)     18 / 49       
This thread is a big flash of deja vu for me - but the conversation was over 30 years ago and concerned growing cotton and corn on my uncle's farm.

In real farming results are never 100% repeatable from year to year / season to season. Even with the best work, there is a variance with each crop.

Just a guess but could there be a deliberate random factor programmed into farm production? Has Emperor achieved soemthing close to real life results? Weather?

WS

[This message has been edited by WaterScribe (edited 10-26-2002 @ 01:03 AM).]

WaterScribe
Pleb
posted 10-26-02 13:13 ET (US)     19 / 49       
Does anyone know how many loads of a food can be kept at a farm? This might impact the harvest amount. If both delivery men are away from the farm, the harvesters might not be able to gather any more because the farm cannot hold it?

WS

Pecunia
CBH Seraph
posted 10-26-02 13:37 ET (US)     20 / 49       
A farm keeps a maximum of 3 loads of every crop it can grow. If a 4th load is brought 'home', a deliverymen is automatically spawned with 4 loads in his cart. A farm doesn't have 'only' 2 or x deliverymen.. it has virtually infinite deliverymen. That's why I like it to have just one mill & no warehouses storing additional food: the deliverymen will just wait patiently at the mill to drop their load.. forever if they need to, and you won't lose any food

Angel Pecunia | HG Downloads programmer and techie
Caesar IV Heaven | Children of the Nile Heaven | Citadel of Poseidon (Zeus/Poseidon) | The Great Wall (Emperor)
Wang Mang
Pleb
posted 10-26-02 16:28 ET (US)     21 / 49       
Pecunia, How does it work with no food warehouses? I cannot see that happening with large cities, unless the farms are next to the Mill which has to be pretty darn close to the market. It has been my experience that when my houses start to evolve from elegant and above, that the consumption rate for food is so high that even with 2 food buyers in the market they are constantly going to the Mill to get more food. Maybe it is just the design of my block, but I have had some problems getting enough food to all my houses. But maybe the warehouses cause me problems too....
something else for me to try to figure out hehe
Pecunia
CBH Seraph
posted 10-26-02 18:13 ET (US)     22 / 49       
I tend to overproduce food, (more food than you need is always better than your people starving) so I always have some farmers which are next to the mill, waiting to drop there loads.
The farms don't need to be close to the mill: there are plenty of deliverymen waiting there, so the mill will always be stocked. If those farm deliverymen have to walk a year to reach the mill, they're really not too late...

With larger cities, I will disconnect parts of my city: each part has its own farms, and each part has its own mill. If I do it otherwise, the farm deliverymen will walk back & forth between the mills, which can cause one mill to be empty sometimes for a month or more.

I tried it once with warehouses to store extra food in, and I will never do it again. In that city, the mill was set to GET foods from the warehouse. What happened: market lady got food from the mill, mill deliverymen gets wheat from the warehouse right next to the mill, meanwhile farm deliverymen (who were standing there) dropped their loads of wheat, mill deliverymen comes back with 4 loads of wheat, can't drop it, and can wait who-knows-how-long before he's "available" again to get goods. Soon after that I ran out of cabbage in the mill, and no one took it from the warehouse to the mill


Angel Pecunia | HG Downloads programmer and techie
Caesar IV Heaven | Children of the Nile Heaven | Citadel of Poseidon (Zeus/Poseidon) | The Great Wall (Emperor)
Wang Mang
Pleb
posted 10-27-02 00:02 ET (US)     23 / 49       
I think I am going to give a shot at having no warehouses for the food, what you have said makes sense. I haven't spent much time watching the food supply chain, one more thing for me to check out...
I have been running a couple production tests I will post the results as soon as I am finished...
Wang Mang
Pleb
posted 10-27-02 23:11 ET (US)     24 / 49       
I ran one test and it has led me to a couple of questions, but first this is what I did...
I used the Juchengshi map in the bronze age. This is a great map for farming tests, Pecunia. You could easily run 4 isolated scenarios on the same map at the same time. I chose the bronze age so that the plow would not factor into the equation.
I set up 3 adjacent farms with irrigation, and used alternating single rows of each of the three crops available, wheat, millet, and cabbage. This is the same set up I have been using during gameplay. I have a screenshot of the farms, but I don't think I can post it here?, so when I figure out how to use the glyph generator, I will post the image. With this layout and the 3 crops, it gave me an equal number of tiles for each crop, on each farm. The total number of tiles for each crop would be the same if I had planted three farms with only one crop on each.
I ran all three farms for three years, without irrigation, then I turned the irrigation on, and ran them all for three more years. Here's my results:

1st year 2nd year 3rd year
N.I. I. N.I. I. N.I. I.

Wheat 24 28 29 30 25 30

Millet 25 35 27 34 26 34

Cabbage 26 36 26 37 26 36

I did run into one problem, I forgot to give any gifts to the heroes and they made a flood. It was right after the first irrigated wheat had been harvested, and I had to rebuild all the farms and start the irrigated tests again. But that first irrigated wheat harvest that came in was 40.
I don't know why when I startd over that I was only getting 30. I am pretty sure all the crops were in the same places they had been before the flood. Either way there sure seems to be a heck of a lot of variance in yields from farms.
I observed the farms closely during all of this and a couple of things stood out. The patterns of the workers seemed to be the same on each farm, each farm had the exact same layout. I think that with the crops in rows instead of blocks the farms are worked more efficiently. It also appeared that by shortening the rows of each crop to only 3 tiles may be even more efficient, that is my next test.
I paused and checked the "ripeness" at harvest this seemed to be a little bit higher without irrigation for wheat and millet, but was about the same for cabbage.
I think the more tests that are run will only raise more questions. All I do know is that it takes two or three farms to support my blocks when I play.

kach
Angel
posted 10-28-02 15:06 ET (US)     25 / 49       
I've spent hours testing farms. I can only conclude that there are several undocumented 'features' affecting results.
Most tests (but not all) have been on a 69 tile farm of rice on a humid map. Analysing results in Excel (which I am not good at) has left me with the following generalisations:
  1. I should not have said always in my earlier post!
  2. I have noticed farm workers start working at at two different times. With two farms of identical layout side by side, mostly the first workers on each farm exit the road tile at the same time, but not always. I'll call these the 'fast' workers and the 'slow' workers.
  3. My humid map nearly always produced fast workers. My normal mostly produced slow workers. Deleting the farm and crop and replacing,sometimes changed this.
  4. Fast workers give a % complete 1 or 2 points higher on every tile. This means about 100 or so more % complete points per farm
  5. The crop formula looks like it ought to be something like Mere suggested in the previous farming post. Non irrigated, humid rice generally seems to work like this : (total % complete /100) * 1.05 * .5. Maybe the .5 is a climate modifier?
  6. If the warehouse receiving the crop is really close to the farm, and all the carpushers get back before the next four loads are ready, a cartpusher with a single load is spawned. Whenever this happened I seemed to lose a load from the total output.

Irrigation causes the figures to go crazy. I was wondering if there is some sort of overflow bug. I have never seem a farm produce more than 23 of a single crop. Maybe if the result is 24 or more there is some sort of calculation problem and istead of getting 24 you get 18 or even 7!

I give up, it is just too totally frustrating. I would really like a comment Breakaway on whether it is meant to work like this or not?

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