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Growing Crops

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Growing crops and making full use of your villageís agricultural land is your main job as shoya. Although you have other things that you can produce and other things to worry about, your village will not prosper without solid agriculture.

The main crop at your disposal is rice, which can be grown alongside grain, millet, soy beans, cotton and other crops, depending on where your village is located. Rice is your highest yielding staple food, and is also the form in which taxes are paid. Without enough rice to pay your taxes you will soon learn all about what the local governorís displeasure entails! Grain is also a valuable crop, and has the advantage that it can be grown in both spring and summer, unlike rice, which can only be grown during summer. A good rule of thumb for the village, at least until you are producing good surpluses, is that grain and millet are grown to feed the people, and rice is grown to pay your tax.

So, your task each growing season is to decide how much of each field type is dedicated to each of the crops that can be grown in it. This will be limited by the space and number of workers you have available. Each type of crop likes different weather conditions, has a different yield and needs different number of workers. If you are growing cash crops, you will also need to think about their current market worth, and maintaining the soilís quality is always a consideration. Always trying to pull the most you can from the ground is a recipe for long term disaster, as the soil becomes more and more depleted.

Watching the weather is vital, of course. Your advisor will give you tips, but there is no substitute for learning the relationships between different crop yields and weather conditions for yourself. The conditions during the harvesting season have a small impact on yields as well, so it is always good to hedge your bets with a variety of crops in any given season. This also helps to protect against the possibility of crop disease. Grain and rice are also subdivided into three varieties each, each of which has its own properties in terms of yields, hardiness and disease resistance.

Each shoya has their own policies and techniques for allocating crops, and you will have to experiment to find which strategies work for you and your village. Different crops have different advantages and disadvantages and suit different locations to different extents, so there is no one ďgoodĒ strategy. These tips will help to get you going: