I have completed the campaign mode. However I found that it is far too easy to earn money at the start. So I decided to try all extreme settings in the free mode based on the experience in the campaign mode. I haven’t found a good guide on this topic apart from a few discussions in the forum. Therefore I am writing this guide to help fellow players.
p.s. this is my first Steam guide, and English is not my first language. Apologies in advance if this is difficult to read.
The first thing in extreme setting is NOT to do farming at all at the start albeit the name “Farm Manager.” The reason is that labor cost will be the major monthly expense (average $3,000 per person per month). We cannot start any labor-intensive business. We need to resort to machines if we need to limit the labor. However the harvester is very expensive at the start (around $300,000) and there are only $100,000 as the initial cash. Therefore farming is not feasible. Industrial buildings also cost a lot ($300,000 at the beginning) so we cannot start right away with the investment as well.
Naturally the remaining option is animal husbandry. So let’s call the start of the game as Ranch Manager. I remembered starting with cows in both Farm Manager 2018 and 2021 campaigns, then I started the initial build by putting 2 cowsheds and the necessary supportive buildings – a barn to hold the grass, a silo to hold the cereals, and a manure store to hold the manure for some extra cash. Additionally, a permanent staff house and a electric transformer are needed. The cow’s milk can be stored in the owner’s building, so the warehouse can be built later.
The build-out is as the screenshot below.
After the buildings were built, I bought the 8 cows and hired 2 workers with animal specialty with default wage settings. The best is to get a person with lowest wage and highest animal skill level, but it doesn’t really matter at the beginning. I tried to max out the animal skill as soon as possible once I got some money from the milk business.
For the 8 cows, I made them organic and fed them 4 cheapest food. I set up the automatic trades as below.
Once these were set up, I could then use the max speed (3x) to pass the time, as this is a long way to earn enough money for the next steps.
Expanding the ranch
Now the money was slowly coming. I started to build a vet clinic to take care of the animal health. Then I got money to build 2 fish farms and a warehouse to store the fish. I had money to further build 2 sheds for goats. All these animals were fed with imported organic food to increase the profit. I diversified the products to avoid getting a severe demand penalty from selling a single product too much. Getting to this point took me around 1 year. My farm was like this:
At this point I also started to do research. The most important ones are staff wage related ones. Once the HR training III was researched, I could now get an average worker at $2,400 per month. I started to fire the ones I hired before. So I replaced all the 6 staff with the new ones, and again immediately raised the animal skills to max for each of them. At this stage, I earned around $30,000 per month, so upgrading the staff was a big problem.
I kept these 6 animal buildings and started to wait for the first industrial building. I did not have a list of production rates, so I chose the one with the highest price – smoked trout. I waited for a few months while researching the building cost related research. The smokehouse costs $225,000 after the 30% price cut. In the 2nd year autumn, I gathered this money and built a smokehouse.
Now with the money from the smoked trout, it was not long before building the 2nd smokehouse for the smoked carp. Here is a screenshot showing the 3rd year spring.
I continued to research – cost cut, labor efficiency, sales training, production efficiency. Things became straightforward. At the 3rd year autumn, I was earning $200,000 per month, with the addition of two dairy processing plants.
I started the annual training at this point.
Now back to the farming business…
At the writing of this guide, I am at year 3 autumn, and I haven’t decided on what to do next, but from now on, with the $1m yearly profit, we can do anything we want – expanding the ranch or starting the fields and machines. I don’t foresee any obstacle any more.
This is the end of this guide. Thanks for reading.
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