© MX The Late Night Partnership, all rights reserved · Menu · About

Soil quality

« back

Looking after the fertility of the village’s fields is one of your most important jobs as shoya, and one of the easiest to overlook. The fertility of each type of field will degrade over time as you grow more and more crops in them, eventually leading to land so poor that nothing at all can be grown. It can be very tempting to keep growing the maximum crops possible all the time, especially if you are under pressure from the governor or other sources, but nonetheless, pay attention to soil quality or pay the penalty later! This can be a delicate balancing act, but it is worth doing everything you can at least to keep the soil’s quality steady, if not actually improving it.

How fast your soil degrades depends on the crops grown and the size of the crop (a bigger crop means more nutrients have been sucked from the fields). Each crop degrades the soil by a different amount, with cotton being the worst offender and rice not far behind. More marginal crops such as grain and millet have less of an impact, and growing soy beans actually improves the soil.

The main thing you can do to improve soil quality is to leave some of each field type fallow each season. This can be a struggle to do, but it is worth it! Leaving the ground fallow improves the soil in its own right, as well as meaning that there is less pressure from the crops being grown. Clearing new fields also helps, as the new land added is completely fresh, and always growing a certain proportion of soy beans, if you have them available, is vital (soy beans are a valuable crop in their own right, as they can be turned into various foodstuffs or sold on the market as animal fodder). Several other means of improving your soil will also become available as the years roll by.