Decide on ‘Zones’ for where you will have your areas. The ‘Livestock Zone’ obviously should be the SouthWest corner, since that’s where your 2 starter Cow Sheds are. Plan on building all your livestock in that area, and keep your dairy plant nearby. Have ‘zones’ for your Feed Crops, Sales Crops, Greenhouses, and Manufacturing. If you randomly scatter your buildings and fields everywhere, it will be far more complicated in the long run.
Have dedicated Houses for your workers for each zone. If you put animal handlers in a house on the other side of the map, they’ll have a much longer way to walk, will get tired faster, and will be less efficient at caring for the animals. Keep your staff close to where they need to be!
Permanent Workers have specific skills. Don’t just randomly assign people to buildings. Pick workers that have skills, even if it is 0, in what you want them to do. Plants for Greenhouses, Plants and/or Machinery for Fields, Animal handling for Livestock, Manufacturing for your various production plants, ect. Endurance is a secondary skill, but people with that skill make great ‘floaters’, especially when you need lots of extra hands during harvest time.
Train Your Workers
Look at how much your workers are asking when you hire them. Training them will NOT increase that! Training them will make them more effective at their jobs, increasing the yield you get for selling, but will not effect how much you have to pay them! So if you got the money to do so, train them up to 5 stars in their skills!
Do not underestimate the value of temporary employees. Once you get several crop fields going, you will need them! Certain crops, such as the Gooseberries, Cabbage, and Black Currents will all require manual harvesting. You will need lots of extra hands! The best time to have extra employees is when you will start getting fields for harvest. Late May thru the beginning of December. But if you start getting extra help as soon as the snows melt in late March, they can also help with planting fields and maintaining the greenhouses.
Campaign starts as a Dairy Farm, so start it as one! Don’t just have 2 pens of each animal. Have several! I found that 5-6 pens of each of the 3 species will give you a never ending supply of milk, which you can sell as is, or turn into butter/cheese. And the goats breed the fastest, so when you have to build the Slaughterhouse, they are the perfect choice of animal to set for it (other than when it asks you to make a certain amount of beef and mutton). Set the goats, select ever pen to pull from, and set it to pull all animals over 8. That way every 9th and 10th animal in your pens will be taken to become goat chops, and you’ll always have room for more babies. You’ll have a never ending supply of goats!
Crops, Feed, & Machinery
Chemical fertilizers can get expensive, and they take up space in your storage. But you’ve got all those animals, and they make a LOT of poop. So why not use it? By selecting each field and greenhouse individually, you can change the fertilizer type used on them from Chemical to Manure. Free fertilizer! Just make sure that you have a manure storage bin within radius of the fields/greenhouses you plan to use them for.
You will eventually need a lot of fields. If you rely on only 1 or 2 tractors, you will never get the harvests done in time, and your hard work will be for naught when the unharvested crops are killed by pests, disease, or the winter cold. Some types of crops even require 2 tractors to harvest! So plan on buying up to 4 or 5 tractors, not all at once of course, as you get more fields.
This is more of a grey area than with the tractors. Certain machinery are needed for multiple crop types, and if you only have one, and it is already in use, then you will get an alert saying you need one. For example, you might get an alert saying you need a manure spreader. But you already have one, and it is currently in use on another field. Well, you can either get a second one, or just wait until it’s available again. This should depend on your fields. If you have multiple fields that use the same equipment, you could get a back up, but I have not seen this really necessary if you have plenty of workers.
Growing vs Buying Feed
This is the biggest question when it comes to livestock. For certain crops, like ‘crops’ (basically dried corn), they are so cheap, and the machinery needed to harvest the fields so expensive, that it’s best just to buy what you need. But Wheat and Oats are double-crops, meaning you get both grain and straw out of the same fields, so they are worth growing, because you will eventually get excess to sell! So not only will your animals stay fed, but you can even make some of that money back in the long run. The same goes for grass, which is the only field crop that grows and can be harvested all year, even in winter. Grass is a great alternative for making Silage if you are low on Straw because of how quickly it grows.
Manufacturing & Storage
Various buildings, specifically storage buildings, have set radius on them. These radius effect how you should set up your layout. With storage buildings, such as Silos, Barns, and even Manure bins, the radius will stack. So if you have multiple of these items in various locations, then it doesn’t matter which one supplies certain fields or animal pens, they will cover everything in the combined radius.
This is different for machinery though. Be sure to put all of your garages/parking lots in a central area to your fields. You can have 5 tractors, but if you have a field that is not in the radius of the specific lots where your tractors are stored, even if it’s in the same radius of a different lot/garage, then it will say there is no available tractor! Try to get your lots where they will cover ALL of your fields, or at the least make sure that fields requiring specific machinery have those items in the lots closest to those fields.
As stated in the section about Equipment Radius, certain types of storage buildings will stack for their radius. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have multiple buildings spread out over your farm. As your farm grows, you will need more and more storage space, but the storage stacks, so if one silo fills up, then food just gets stored in another silo, even if that silo isn’t in the radius of the field! The same goes for Barns and Storage Buildings.
Don’t Buy Extra Ingredients!
Got certain items you want to produce, but only have a limited supply of ingredients? The alerts will tell you to buy more. Don’t do it! You do not NEED a specific number of ingredients. As long as there is at least 1, your manufacturing plants will use them. If you fully run out, then just switch to something else temporarily, or wait until you harvest more. For dairy products, all you have to do it wait a minute for more. For crops, you can just switch them around. Don’t worry if your production meter is not fully, it will stay at that spot, so you will not loose any production. Out of strawberries for jam? Switch to raspberries for a while. Out of both? Well, your black currents should be about ready to harvest! Just because the game recommends a minimum amount of supplies, does not mean you have to spend even more money to get them.
Campaign mode is going to be asking you to build a LOT. Keep this in mind! Look at how much space the different buildings are to be taking up. Keep them as close together as possible. Build your roads first, then when you put down your buildings, put their entrances right up against the roads. You need to keep everything as close together as possible, because once you really get going, and you run out of space because of all the gaps between buildings and/or roads, you’re going to be pulling your hair out trying to figure out where to fit things. Remember, there is no option for moving buildings once they are put down.
Not Eco Friendly
I made this mistake at first, because I grow my own food gardens organically. But in the Campaign mode, when they ask you to produce certain crops/items, organic usually doesn’t count! I don’t know if it’s a bug, or the way the game was designed, but producing Eco milk will not count toward your milk quota for the campaign’s goals. the same goes for everything else. And because Eco feed and ingredients are more expensive, it’s going to end up costing you a lot more money than you’ll earn from them.
Adding flower containers make the place a little more pretty, and your employees think so too. Adding planters in front of each building makes your workers a little more happy, and happy employees are less likely to quit on you! Seriously, who doesn’t like looking at a nice container of red flowers growing in front of a slaughterhouse, or some daisys next to that huge pile of manure?
Campaign mode has several ‘levels’, and is constantly going to be asking you to build more and more fields and buildings. Keep this in mind! Plan out where your different areas where be, and where you think you might have future areas at. You don’t know what they are going to throw at you, but you do know it’s going to be a lot. Keep money built up and space open, because chances are, you WILL need them later!