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Morrow Project Agricultural Teams

Page history last edited by Michael 2 years ago

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     These teams provide assistance in farming areas. The actual teams are pretty similar to Recon or Engineering teams in size; their usual vehicle is the V150 recovery version. Some of the larger "ag" teams (A-10, A-20, A-30, etc.) have multiple large caches as described below; other, smaller agricultural teams exist.

     After determining "where to assist", a large Agricultural team has six big caches to employ. The caches are semi-cylindrical tunnels, with an internal diameter of 7 meters, and 65 meters long behind their entrance doors (only 61.5 meters available length for vehicles). They are built with a 3 meter wide central vehicle 'lane', and 2 meter wide loading platforms on each side, 16 meters long, 1 meter higher than the central floor (the same as the deck height of the trailers and common military trucks), and with a 12 meter ramp at each end. The fusion generator and cooling system are located at the back of the cache. The doors can be closed after opening, but the nitrogen atmosphere can't fully be replaced. An emergency coffer dam exit is sometimes provided -- this depends on the local terrain.


agricultural Alpha cache plan, showing vehicle placement


cross section of agricultural cache


  • three Alpha caches:  a Fusion Generator Mk 1, nitrogen atmosphere, cooling system to keep conditions at 7 degrees Celsius (with a deep heat exchanger to the water table), 3 fusion-powered articulated wheeled tractors, 3 two-wheel platform trailers (to tow behind the tractors), one fusion-powered MW24C scoop loader (with cab roof removed and placed on the side platform), drill rig trailer, drill rig casing pipe trailer, several bales of PVC well casing pipe (each pipe is 30 kg, 12.7 cm diameter, 6 meters long; 20 pipes per bale) and minor fittings to connect to pumps, 5 large electric water pumps (250 liters per minute at a 25 meter head, 34 kg each, discharge into 3.7 cm pipe), 1100 rolls of black plastic sheeting (about 20 tons), 80 tons of seeds in bags or 19 gallon plastic sealed buckets, 500 kg of crop treatment chemicals, 750 kg of pesticides, a couple hundred shovels and other hand tools for field workers. Seeds and pesticides mostly come in 23 kg sacks. We'll call seed, treatment and pesticide requirement about 150 kg per hectare, over the whole variety of field crops.


If You Want To Go Nuts

  • 75 to 150 kg of cereal seed (wheat, barley, hops, rice, oats, rye, millet, sorghum, buckwheat) is needed per hectare VERY ROUGHLY. Germination rates, soil condition, etc. will affect how well your crops turn out; planting method (drilled vs. broadcast), soil, weather and irrigation will affect yield, of course. Yield in kilograms per hectare, would be 500 to 4000 kilograms per hectare (the United States averages about 7000 kg per hectare in the late 2000s).

  • 28 kg of corn seed is needed per hectare

  • 1500 to 3000 kg of seed potatoes are needed per hectare

  • 100 to 200 kg of carrot, bean, cabbage, pea, etc. seeds needed per  hectare

  • a generic (granules or dust) pesticide might be applied as 3 kg per hectare

  • black plastic sheeting is used to cover stored silage and hay, to prevent freezing of some crops, to increase irrigation efficiency, etc. 4 mil sheets, 6 meters wide by 30 meters long, weigh 17 kg per roll. To cover a hectare takes 55 rolls -- 935 kg.


  • three Bravo caches:  a Fusion Generator Mk 1, nitrogen atmosphere, cooling system to provide 7 degrees Celsius conditions, frozen fruit and nut tree seeds (these are in insulated vaults at -40 Celsius conditions), lots more field crop seeds and fertilizer, veterinary supplies (antibiotics, dewormers, vaccines and other pharmaceuticals mostly), frozen semen (also in the -40 Celsius vaults), etc. The placement location of these caches are more limited, since they need substantial amounts of water for their cooling system to operate covertly.


     The agriculture teams expect no better than a 75% seed germination rate in 1995, due to the preservation process. After 12 years of storage, germination rate drops off steeply, reaching 50% at 25 years (the longest the Project had tested). Maximum viability for wheat is about 30 years, even stored in these caches.

     The team will either work around existing communities, or an Engineering team will build a camp. The Project aims to provide a tractor (wheel or crawler type) per 50 hectares of arable land; and expects to need about 0.25 hectares per person. A lot of agricultural machinery (drill planters, harvesters, reapers, etc.) and tools (pipe, electrical wire, trailers, sheds, chicken coops, wire fencing, etc.) is expected to still exist after the War.

     Thus the 1000-person "support center" envisioned by Depot Alpha would need 250 hectares of arable land, 5 tractors, 36 tons of seeds, and 750 kg of pesticide -- if a reasonably good yield is expected. An Agricultural team can in turn provide materials for three support centers.


     Of course, Project characters of the year 2139 will be well aware that their stored seeds probably won't germinate ...


tip o' the beret to Tim McFadden for the concept

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