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What's distracting my farmer?
#1
I built a kidney-shaped field next to a wall, in a narrow valley. When I placed the Field scarecrow, the farmer assigned himself as normal. Soon he asked for a pickaxe and started tearing down the wall. I discovered there was a dirt block under some sandstone, and assumed farmer wanted to till that ground. I changed the dirt to cobble. He wouldn't stop tearing down the wall, so I broke the Field scarecrow and let farmer sleep. The next morning he's standing at the farmhouse, waiting to have a field to work, so I place the Field scarecrow again, this time knowing that the field is surrounded by blocks that aren't dirt.

Now the farmer runs to the field and stands there, then runs up the stairs to get on higher ground and stands there, then runs to higher ground on the other side and stands there, then runs to the farm and stands there, then starts over. Never tills, never harvests. On the Farm chest it lists the one field as <unused> (yes, there's a seed in the Field scarecrow). Is it a problem that the Field scarecrow is adjacent to the wall? Is it a problem that there are dirt blocks inside of the wall? I can't think of what I'm missing there.
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#2
Sounds like a pathfinding issue. My advice would be to give the farmer as much of a wide, flat field to work in as possible in every direction and see if they calm down. If they don't, fire the farmer and hire someone else who brings a fresh eye to the situation.

If all else fails, nuke the world from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
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