At level 1 in farmville you have the choice between strawberries, if you are willing and able to come back in another four hours, or wheat or peanuts if you stay away for 12 or 16 hours. Theoretically there are also soybeans and eggplant, but those take a day or even 2 days to become ripe and are the least profitable crops you can plant at this point. The hourly profit of strawberries, wheat and peanuts is better and about 2,5 coins per plot, but strawberries are best for fast leveling up at the start because you gain 2 XP in 4 hours per plot, which is hard to beat.
At level 4 you get 2 new crops, lilac and squash. Squash is slightly better than eggplant for an absence of 2 days, lilac is a crop if you stay away for exactly 10 hours, otherwise wheat and peanuts are still better to make more money while you are away. At level 5 pumpkins are a new crop to plant while you’re away for 8 hours, but if you stay away longer, lilac, wheat and peanuts are still better and strawberries are still the best crop whenever you can check back 4 hours later. By the way, I don’t recommend growing strawberries all the time, some people might even get up at night to harvest their berries, but I’m not one of them. I think in order to progress faster than most of your neighbors you don’t have to do that either, unless you have a very strange neighborhood indeed.
The other new crop at level 5 is peppermint, a crop for one day away if you want to make more coins than you would with soybeans, but it will get you less XP so it will slow down your progress.
At level 6 one of the new crops you get is artichokes, but I can’t recommend planting them. They take 4 days to grow and you can make at least twice the money and XP by growing other crops. They might be a crop you can plant if you can’t check your farm for a week though. But then we are no longer talking about fast leveling. Spinach, the other new crop at level 6, makes a lot more sense to plant though, since it is the first crop you can grow that will give you more than 3,2 coins profit per hour and you get 2 XP for planting it so it’s really worth planting during the night. The rice you get at level 7 is a good substitute for wheat when you can’t come back to your farm for 12 hours and will get you 3 coins per hour. An even more profitable crop comes at level 8, now you can plant raspberries whenever you have time to check back to your farm after 2 hours. On the whole they will get you the same amount of XP as strawberries in the same time at first but they get you more than twice the profit of strawberries. The loss if you let raspberries wither is also higher than if the same thing happens to strawberries, so plan ahead if you can really harvest in time. I’m telling you this since raspberries are the only crop that ever withered on my farm because I didn’t check back in time, and two hours are not that long. The other new crop at level 8 is daffodils, less profitable than squash, in my opinion it’s only good for planting one plant once for the green thumb ribbon.
At level 9 you get cotton, the first crop that takes longer than 24 hours and is more profitable than squash, so if you stay away for a weekend you might calculate which of them makes more sense to plant.
At level 10 you can grow cranberries, better for an absence of 10 hours than lilac, and chickpeas that have a high hourly profit and grow for 20 hours, but to be able to plant them you need to have mastered soybeans, which won’t let you progress fast. So on the whole I recommend to wait a bit longer for more profitable crops and concentrate on gaining more XP by planting more often. At level 11 you get rhubarb as a new crop for 16 hours away and it is a lot more profitable than the peanuts. The second new crop at level 11 is bell peppers, those are almost as much profit as the cotton that takes one more day to ripen and they are better than squash for a weekend away. Peppers are a new crop at level 12, they are better than soybeans for 23 hours away from the game.
Morning glories that you get at level 13 are the first flowers that let you make a decent profit, you get 4 coins per hour over 12 hours, making them better than rice and spinach to make money.
Aloe vera at level 14 is not as profitable, just 3,3 coins per hour, but it is the first crop to grow for 6 hours, so you might use it sometimes when you can’t check back to your farm for this period of time. Now you might also be able to get the blue “green thumb” ribbon, if you have planted one of each of the less valuable crops.
At level 15 you receive two more new crops, tulips and pineapples, that aren’t very interesting at this point. Tulips grow for a day, but give you less profit than peppers. Pineapples are better than bell peppers if you stay away for two days.
The new pattypan squash at level 16 is better, it gives you 5 coins per hour over a period of 16 hours, a lot better than rhubarb. At level 17 you have finally reached a better substitute for strawberries and planting raspberries twice. The new blueberries will grow for 4 hours and and give you an unprecedented 6,5 coins per hour.
The new crop at level 18 is a lot less interesting, watermelons will grow for 4 days, thus they are not a crop that will get you ahead fast, but at least they are better than artichokes, so if you have to stay away for a week you might choose these instead.
At level 19 you receive another good crop, grapes. They will grow for a whole day, thus not giving you many XP, but they are the first crop to give you more than 7 coins per hour. The tomatoes you get at level 20 are even better than that. You can harvest them every 8 hours and they give you 7,25 coins per hour. Pink roses might look nice but they aren’t as profitable as pineapples, so those are still your best bet if you stay away for 2 days.
Potatoes at level 21 are more profitable than cotton for a period of three days, but since you want to plant at least once a day if you want to get ahead, this is only interesting for while you can’t come back to your farm for a weekend. Rye is more profitable than chickpeas and grows for the same 20 hours. Carrots at level 22 are more profitable than morning glories for a 12 hour crop. At level 23 you get coffee that is more profitable than the pattypan squash for 16 hours. Level 24 brings you another crop that grows for three days, corn, that is more profitable than potatoes. The new sunflowers at level 25 are slightly less profitable than the grapes that you can already grow in one day. Ghost chili at level 26 is a lot more profitable than aloe vera for a period of 6 hours and it gets you even more coins than growing blueberries does. At level 27 there are 2 new crops, zucchini that grow for 16 hours and cabbage as a 2-day-crop. While cabbage is more profitable than the pineapples that you already have, zucchinis get you less money than coffee and you have to have mastered pattypan squash to unlock them. Green tea is a new crop for 10 hours at level 28 and it gets you more than twice the hourly profit of cranberries. There is also gladiolus, a new flower for 6 hours that gets you 7,5 coins an hour, but it requires daffodil mastery to plant. So, like the chickpea, it is a profitable crop but the crop you need to master to get it is not worth growing. At level 29 you can finally grow white grapes that are the most profitable crop until then and give you 2 XP when you plant them, more than any other 12 hour crop before. You also get black berries that are more profitable than blueberries. When you reach level 30 you receive lavender, another flower, and red wheat. Lavender grows for 48 hours and is worth less than cabbage. The red wheat is more profitable than corn but another three day crop.
In case you were wondering why I left out a few crops that you can grow, sometimes new crops are added, so it’s worth calculating whether growing them makes sense for you. There are also limited events that have special crops that are only available for some time, so it is almost impossible to stay completely up-to-date there. The tables and wikis on the internet will probably give you the latest info on events and changes.
If you think I forgot to mentions crop mastery and that it will also get you extra experience and coins, I’d like to direct your attention to the section on crop mastery in the second part of the guide. Before you reach level 15, when you can also use the farmer’s market that will also be covered in the second part of this guide, you probably won’t achieve the mastery of too many crops if you have followed my guidelines. That is not so bad, though. The rewards for crop mastery are considerably lower than what you can get by trying to progress fast or achieving ribbons. I’m not saying you should avoid to master crops early, you might do so automatically as you try to grow what makes most sense. Since you are still starting out, every level will get you closer to more profitable crops, so you should focus on the XP and on avoiding withered crops first.
EDIT: With the introduction of the English countryside, the properties of cotton have been changed, it is now ready to harvest in only 12 hours. This has made it the most profitable regular crop in the game, at 9,75 coins per hour. Cotton, leeks and jalapenos that have been introduced as new permanent crops when the greenhouse was published will be discussed in section 3 Crops revisited in the second part of the guide.
4 The feed – what to take, what to keep and what to avoid
© Conny Streit, 2011