I've seen plaster allowed to stiffen a bit, then plowed with a comb that has had every other tooth broken off. Then the feild is stained an earth color and ground foam carefully placed along the row tops...tedious but effective. I've also seen old corduroy fabric and peeled corrugated cardboard used as well. Hope that helps...
Don, My plowed fields are real dirt. I used a 50/50 mix of Elmer's and water to harden the "soil". Natural color and a VERY LOW COST. Much of my detail, trees, ground cover, ect, is all natrual material. Saves me money to buy more train stuff.
The furrows of the field will be determined by the scale used on the layout.
I like that idea a lot. It's in line with my way of thinking why fake it when real stuff can work. I camp a lot and sometimes while I am hiking I will stop near a stream and gather some materials in a ziplock snack bag. I am going to give that a try when I start landscaping my latest project.
Been giving this a lot of thought. adding some crops would even look cooler. Now how can I model corn? I have seen wheat on a layout and it looks sweet but never a realistic corn. burying some tiny pieces of green cloth or maybe chopped up pieces of a green balloon in a row may look cool. I think details like this really make eyes pop out when they notice them.
Pine needles, painted green. I actually put my corn field on a mat. For summer and spring as the corn is growing, the needles were painted green. For the fall, or harvest time, they were allowed to brown.