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07: Advanced Farming

Farmville Walkthrough and Guide

by CMBF  

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Chapter 07: Advanced Farming

Growing crops in Farmville is in part related to whatever your present goal is in the game.  This is especially true if you are working towards crafting in the special Craft Building you have built (that is covered in detail in a later chapter) but for now, we will focus upon Crop Mastery, which is both a way that players keep score of who is doing well, and the best way for you to maximize the profits and XP you earn from growing crops.

As you approach the subject you may find that a focus upon a particular type of crop will help you -- in this example we will focus upon Berries -- both because many have very short growing times that are often measured in hours, and because the Mastery Signs for berries are more interesting in appearance than many of the other plants you can grow -- being able to display them makes them a stand-out and an attention drawing feature of your farm.  After all, this is mostly about standing out, isn't it?

The Different Mastery Signs

-- Crop Mastery 101 --

Each crop (plant type) has three levels of mastery.  When you reach the third and final level, you earn a Mastery Sign and any more of that crop that you grow will pay dividends in the form of extra  XP -- and if you are still working towards reaching Level 100 in the game, that is a very important aspect of the process!

To begin we will pick a simple crop -- Strawberries -- and examine the requirements for its Mastery.

Level 1: 500 Crops
Level 2 1,000 Crops
Level 3 3,750 Crops

So to reach the third level of Crop Mastery and obtain the Mastery sign you will have had to grow -- and harvest -- 5,250 crops.  Obviously you are not going to be accomplishing that in one sitting.

Strawberries are in the Fruit class of seeds and, no surprise, are the cheapest of the crops to plant and grow -- from planting the seen to harvesting takes just 4 hours, and they are a fairly profitable crop to grow: a seeding of one crop square costs 10 coins, and when you harvest it, you receive 35 coins, which is not a bad return on your investment!

Strawberries are also a crop that is part of the Co-Op Farming System (that is covered in a later chapter) which means you will be growing a lot of them later, so having them Mastered is a very good thing from a strategy point of view.

Normally when you plant a crop you gain whatever XP you would get for the planting -- in the case of Strawberries that is 1 XP point -- and no more XP for harvesting them -- but if they are fertilized that changes, and each harvested crop turns into an extra point of XP.  If you have them mastered, you get extra XP in planting them, and as they are a common element in the Co-Op recipes, you can probably see the advantage already.

-- To Fertilize or Not to Fertilize --

The issues with fertilization is that it is largely the result of the kindness of your neighbors when you first start out (read the chapter called Being a Good Neighbor for more information on that), as each of your neighbors who visits your farm each day can fertilize five crop squares each -- which means you have to have a lot of neighbors visiting your farm every day to make that work.

Fortunately there is another way to handle this -- use a bag of fertilizer!   These are obtained in three ways -- completing a collection, randomly obtained from a completed bee hive, or -- and this is the easiest way -- obtained as a reward when you visit your neighbors and fertilize THEIR crops.  If you are good about being sure to do that each session, you will quickly build a surplus stock of bags of fertilizer, which you can then use strategically to help boost your XP gains and bushel production -- which brings us to Bushels.

The whole issue of Bushels is covered in its own chapter, but you need to know a but about them now.  There is a chance whenever you harvest a crop -- a small chance if it is not fertilized -- for you to gain a bushel of that crop to sell in your Market Stall (assuming you have one). 

These bushels actually double -- as you get one for your own use, and one to sell in your stall to a neighbor -- whenever you find one in a crop during harvesting.  Bushels are used for crafting and will become an important resource for you at later levels, but for now that is all you need to know about how they apply to crafting -- but as far as crop growing goes, they are an INCREDIBLY important resource!

After you plant your seeds, and after you fertilize them, you grow the crop.  BEFORE you harvest however, you should open up your Market Stall (buying one is not just a good idea, it is critical to your increasing productivity and XP), locate the Strawberry Bushels, and then USE one of them.  Doing so increases your chance of obtaining more bushels, and also gives you an extra Mastery Point for that crop -- which means instead of having to grow and harvest 500 crops, you only have to grow and harvest 250!

Every so often the powers that be in Farmville offer players a double mastery bonus period -- usually on a weekend -- that allows you to really boost Mastery by using a bushel mastery bonus in combination with a double mastery bonus, which results in a total of a 3 Mastery Points when you harvest rather than two.

Using bushels prior to harvesting is one  of the most important -- if not the most important -- trick for rapid leveling in the game.

So, the answer to the question should you fertilize is a qualified YES -- but you will want to build up an inventory of fertilizer before you start in on a Mastery project.  You should also use a bushel of that crop prior to harvesting, and keep several Market Stalls on your farm in case you end up growing more than one crop per day.

The Market Stall and its Stored Bushels

-- The Market Stall and Bushels --

When you find a bushel of a crop you have mastered, you receive bonus bushels based on your level of crop mastery -- for example, you only receive one bushel for any crop you harvest that you have not mastered, but if you are harvesting a crop which you mastered the first level of (one star) your receive two bushels.

For a crop you have attained second level mastery of (two stars) when you find a bushel you receive three bushels, and for a fully mastered crop (three stars) you receive four bushels, which adds to the usefulness of Crop Mastery!

Using a bushel from your inventory before harvesting -- as we mention above -- gives a  mastery bonus, so for every Strawberry crop you harvest, you get 2 Mastery Points.  You also have an increased chance for finding bushels (as we mention earlier).

Once you purchase a Market Stall for your farm, you receive an inventory allotment of 100 bushels in storage.  Purchasing and placing additional Market Stalls adds 25 Bushel Storage per Stall for a maximum of 5 Stalls in total, with a total storage limit of 200 Bushels.  

If you have one Market Stall, and you grow Strawberries during which you harvest bushels, those are offered for sale in the Stall automatically.  The more bushels you find, the longer the sale period, so in theory lets say you harvest enough to have an 18 hour sale period.  Then you plant Blackberries and harvest those six hours later -- your one Market Stall is selling Strawberries, so while you get to keep the bushels you find in your inventory for your use, you cannot sell the other allotment to your neighbors, because you do not have an open Market Stall to sell them in!

For that reason, part of being a good neighbor is a duty to have more than the one Stall, so that you can provide that resource to your neighbors -- an important resource that you will only appreciate yourself when you start crafting and begin to rely upon your neighbors for getting bushels from their Market Stalls!  As soon as you can afford to do so, getting the maximum five Stalls on your farm should be one of your goals.

You cannot increase the number of bushels that you can keep for later use beyond the 200 at the present time, and you cannot have more than 5 Stalls at any one time right now, but that could change.  In any event getting your bushel storage limit to 200 as fast as you can is very important if you have constructed a primary crafting building and plan to pursue mastery of the recipes associated with it!

-- The Mastery Process --

Once you settle on the crop you are going to go for Mastery on, you plant and harvest that crop over and over until you have achieved complete Mastery -- using whatever resources you have to make that process more efficient.

The Five Simple Steps of Mastery

As a general rule then, you should be following these steps in the Mastery process:

(1) Determine what crop to master based on the crafting recipe you want to master;
(2) Planting the same crop over until you Master it;
(3) Fertilizing the crop after planting to maximize returns;
(4) Using a Bushel of that crop to double Mastery Bonus Points;
(5) Being careful to always harvest the full crop.

That last is a significant issue -- if you grow a 4-hour crop when you know you will not be able to get back to the game for 8-hours, you should expect to find your crop rotting in the fields when you return!  Only plant when you know you can be there at harvest time to harvest, otherwise you waste money and resources, and potential points!

Once you have Mastered a crop, move on to the next crop that is part of the crafting recipe that is par of your current Mastery project!  That way when it comes time to start working towards mastery of that recipe you have maximized your bushel potential.  

Remember that Co-Op Farming is also a source for bushel sets you can use in working on recipe mastery -- and if you can combine doing a Co-Op Farming quest with a crop you are trying to master already, that adds to the entire value of the process!

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Comments for 07: Advanced Farming

1 comments, latest first.
Mar 2nd 2013 Guest
There seems to be a daily bushel quota. Initial harvest yield bushels, subsequent harvests yield few or no bushels. Makes planting larger farms worthless.
ID #260093