I didn't grow up on a farm and neither did my dad, but he sure wished that he had. An accountant by weekday, he wanted nothing more than to be working on a farm. So much so that he bought one when I was five years old. Every weekend until I was old enough to escape was spent driving to the farm to mow the lawns and generally pretend to be farmers. To be specific, my early childhood was pretty much a form of indentured servitude, mostly because dad managed to buy a farm comprised of fields strewn with river stones. That wouldn't be a problem if they were being used as pastures, but it was a real problem for crops. It's not that crops wouldn't grow amongst the stones, the problem was that the stones had a propensity for breaking expensive steel plow blades. We had to walk the fields picking up those stones for days and days every year.
As a result of those years, I have tremendous respect for farmers. Maintaining a farm is a pre-dawn to post-dusk job, and it is one of those jobs that is never done. The decades following my childhood knowledge of farming completely negated what I knew, though. Farming has become big business, and with that comes a keen eye on emerging technologies and techniques. New and more efficient farming techniques were enabled by new fertilizers and heavy farming equipment. Many modern tractors, for example, bear little resemblance to the Farmall Model M I grew up with. To be fair, that Farmall was already an antique when I was five years old, but even the contemporaneous state-of-the-art tractors looked pretty much the same.
All of this is to explain why I find Farming Simulator 2019 so compelling. As farming has become more and more complex, so have the simulators. It's partially a fascination with the equipment - I have always been intrigued by the idea of operating mechanical equipment. "Dig a trench with a backhoe" has been on my bucket list for three decades. Seriously.
That's only half of the attraction, though. As I said, farming has become big business and there are many, many details that are critical to raising a profitable crop. With many crops, you only get one chance a year to make your annual paycheck, so there is a lot of risk involved. All it takes is an overly wet spring or and overly dry summer to break the bank.
That makes it interesting. Very interesting.
Check out the trailer for just a glimpse of what farming has become. Farming Simulator 2019 is expected to release in the fall.