In preparation for tomorrow’s post about using Rotarycraft to optimize my sugar cane farm, it occurred to me that there were some very simple things I could do to optimize my sugar cane farm mark I using only vanilla resources. To see the original farm, check out this previous post. In this post, I’ll give step-by-step instructions on how to build an expandable, fully automatic sugar cane farm that is virtually (if not completely) 100% efficient. This design uses a block update detector. If you need help building the block update detector, check out my post here, or SethBling’s video here.

First, build a standard sugar cane row. Here, I have made a sugar cane farm that is eight blocks long. This design is easily expandable.

First, build a standard sugar cane row. Here, I have made a sugar cane farm that is eight blocks long. This design is easily expandable.

Next, behind the sugar cane and one row up from the ground place a row of pistons or sticky pistons with some block (here I'm using stick pistons with glass).

Next, behind the sugar cane and one row up from the ground place a row of pistons or sticky pistons with some block (here I’m using stick pistons with glass).

Third, buiild your block update detector. The piston on the left is a sticky piston, while the one on the right is not sticky. The back of the stick piston should be facing the sugar can on the y-level above the pistons, meaning the sugar cane will be adjacent to the sticky piston when it has grown to three blocks high.

Third, build your block update detector. The piston on the left is a sticky piston, while the one on the right is not sticky. The back of the stick piston should be facing the sugar can on the y-level above the pistons, meaning the sugar cane will be adjacent to the sticky piston when it has grown to three blocks high.

Connect the signal from the redstone torch on the BUD to a line of redstone that runs on top of a row of blocks that sit immediately behind the pistons. Now, when anything happens next to the BUD's stick piston, the row of pistons will quickly activate and deactive.

Connect the signal from the redstone torch on the BUD to a line of redstone that runs on top of a row of blocks that sit immediately behind the pistons. Now, when anything happens next to the BUD’s stick piston, the row of pistons will quickly activate and deactivate.

Cover up the water that sits next to the sugar cane. Here I have used stone brick and glass, because I like being able to look at my farms. But, unlike Schrödinger's cat, whether you look at it or not doesn't change anything.

Cover up the water that sits next to the sugar cane. Here I have used stone brick and glass, because I like being able to look at my farms. But, unlike Schrödinger’s cat, whether you look at it or not doesn’t change anything.

Now for the improvements over the mark I. Two blocks below the dirt blocks on which sit the sugar cane, place a connected line of hoppers leading into a chest or item transport system.

Now for the improvements over the mark I. Two blocks below the dirt blocks on which sit the sugar cane, place a connected line of hoppers leading into a chest or item transport system. All of these hoppers are not strictly necessary, but it simplifies and speeds up harvesting.

On top of these hoppers place powered rails and power them. Now put a hopper cart on the rails and watch it zip back and forth.

On top of these hoppers place powered rails and power them. Now put a hopper cart on the rails and watch it zip back and forth. The hopper cart will pull the harvested sugar cane sitting on the dirt block directly above it. The hoppers below will pull the sugar cane out of the hopper cart and deposit it into the chest.

The finished product.

The finished product.

So that’s it. I covered up the hoppers below the ground, but that’s not strictly necessary. In any case, this little sugar cane farm will produce a constant trickle of sugar cane without any further need of maintenance. To make the flow faster, just increase its length or build another one. Except for the hoppers, this farm is super cheap.

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