Rustis such a ridiculous game, and I mean that in the best possible way. It's fascinating to watch it grow from the sidelines. The latest update, Farming 2.0, encapsulates that sentiment well.
In a game about surviving on a harsh island with less-than-trustworthy players looking to keep themselves entertained in bizarre and sometimes cruel ways, you can also obsess over your plants' light intake, water saturation, temperature, and genetic makeup. You can crossbreed plants if you want.
The Farming 2.0 update represents "a major overhaul of how farming and plants work" in Rust. Aside from monitoring plant wellness factors in real-time, there are also new toys to play around with: a hose, composter, sprinkler, fluid splitter, fluid switch, water catchers, barrels, and horse dung.
Yes, dung is important. As explained in the patch notes, "Horses now poo. Collect it, put it in the composter, get a nice amount of fertilizer. They poo every 20-25 minutes."
As for crossbreeding crops to improve their growth rate, yield, and hardiness, the system is limited to planter boxes for now. "When a plant enters the crossbreeding stage, it checks its genes against any surrounding plants, on a per-slot basis. If enough neighboring plants all have a matching gene type in the same slot, this will overwrite the plant's existing gene in this slot with the neighboring one."
No exaggeration, it's this kind of stuff that makes me love Rust. It's high- and low-brow all at once.