I really don't care about rain. ... There's no option to change the weather during the map creation anyway.
That's a really big mistake. The base 'Cloud Rate' \ rainfall increases or decreases in synchronization with the vegetation level setting. Barren = hardly any rain anywhere; Overgrown = enough rain to make a swamp all over; with the three other variations in between. It's too bad the developers did not draw a picture for the overly literal players.
So it seems like soil fertility is more important than average rainfall, over the course of 50 yrs. ...
If you have a choice of areas for a farm that can support your desired crop fairly well, build on the best soil quality. Toggle control bar to view it. Over time soil quality will be a better determinate of farm productivity and gives good longevity.
Anyone know if pollution affects soil quality?
It doesn't affect soil quality. The infertile land is temporary if the average is good. ... I sometimes rotate my crops.
Another big error -- it mixes quality with wetness and makes a misleading statement. Pollution does affect soil quality - permanently. Low wetness - not infertility - is temporary if the average wetness is good (matched to the crop).
Rotate crops, cool. Will they still harvest and output the old crop, while the new crop is growing?
Yes. But I'm a lazy bum so I just plant farms over rich soil and forget.
Wrong again. When the option\crop on a farm is changed, the previous option\crop is ignored and anything not already in the output queue is lost. Actually, it's not sure that the output queue will remain.
The issues about farm land are no so simple or intuitive as they may appear in the first few "play-throughs."
The soil has TWO charcteristics:
This characteristic is generated as part of the initial terrain profile created by the algorithm for the land form. One can infer some land surface information from the Editor "Paint Tool" which five levels representing "grass" or ariable soil.
- very sparse
These levels represent only the grass as an indicator of basic fertility. The shrubs and trees are representative of the wetness (as considered elsewhere). BTW, they are internal to the generation engine and can not be changed by the paint tool.Pollution
is a multi-purpose representation of adverse effects on the soil quality.
- Litter by people
- Industrial waste
- Crop depletion
It is represented in the very abstract by "radiated" effects (auras) from the mobile units and the buildings. Farms and Ranches represent crop depletion by a radiated pollution level of 2 & 5 to a range of 10. In contrast to the other radiated effects, pollution permanently changes the character of soil quality.
However, remember that the basic time span of the game is 50 years, the approximate, sensible life span of a human after reaching adulthood. Therefore, crop rotation due to depleted soil just is not practical nor needed in the game world. A better tactic on larger islands is breaking new ground and bulldozing old farms for new buildings.
This is the result of the mechanic of distribution of the base rainfall (as generated and possible changed by script) over the entire surface of the island. That is, rain does not fall everywhere all the time. The clouds casually drifting through the sky indicate where and how much rain is falling.
The average is over 80 years. I advise that it requires quite a lot of gameplay to learn how to interpret well the average rainfall overlay.
Farming for maximum production in Tropico is a thoughtful skill. It is not a simplistic or mechanical process such as the player may have learned in another game.
The different requirements for the various crops make all the threads about which crop is the "best"
for making money into jokes because they never point out that the lay of the land and the base rainfall on a particular island really determine which crop works best.