Crop Star Rank

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Many items in the game have a Star Rank associated with them. The more stars an item has, the more money you can earn when you ship the item. You'll find a Star Rank on crops (and their seeds), animal products, wild edible items, cooked recipes, and fish. Crafted items, tools, critters, and non-edible wild items (flowers, Bottle, downs, etc.) don't have a Star Rank.

For crops, increasing a Star Rank will help you win the crop festivals that take place at the end of every season. You can increase a crop's rank by using Fertilizer, which can be bought from Hana's General Store for 100 G a bag.

The Basics of Star Points

Each half-star of a Star Rank is made of 30 Star Points: 1 to 30 is .5 stars, 31 to 60 is 1 star, 61 to 90 is 1.5 stars, and so on. The Star Rank will reach a full 5 stars at 271 Star Points, with a maximum of 300 Star Points possible.

The crop seeds you can buy from Hana have a .5 star rank (or 30 Star Points), and she never sells any seeds that have a higher Star Rank.

When it comes to applying Fertilizer to crops, lower Star Rank crops will increase their rank faster than higher Star Rank crops. Until you reach 3 stars (151 Star Points), one application of Fertilizer is worth 5 Star Points. From 3 stars to 4.5 stars (241 SP), Fertilizer will only add 3 Star Points per use. After 4.5 stars you'll only earn 1 Star Point each time you place Fertilizer on the crop.

You can receive higher level seeds, but not from Hana's shop inventory. When you win a crop festival or the Honey Festival you will receive 10 bags of random seeds that have a higher Star Rank. You can also receive higher level seeds on your birthday from villagers if you have a high level of friendship with the birthday gift giver. Birthday seeds can also be crops that you haven't unlocked yet, such as receiving Blue Rose seeds before you have unlocked them at Sandra's trade shop.

Increasing a Crop's Stars

To increase a crop's star points, you simply add Fertilizer while the crop is growing. You can't add Fertilizer to a crop that is harvestable. For crops that can be harvested more than once (Tomatoes, Cucumber, etc.) you will have to pick the crop and then you can go back and add Fertilizer. Generally, you want to add Fertilizer every day, even if it is raining, snowy, or stormy. Fertilizer won't wash away.

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The approach you want to use when raising Star Rank will depend on if you own the Seed Maker machine. Until the machine unlocks in Fall of your first year, you will have to increase your Star Rank using a combination of soil quality, water timing, and Fertilizer. Basically, the longer the crop grows, the more time you have to apply the Fertilizer.

You can win the beginner class seasonal crop festivals without the Seed Maker if you increase the Star Rank of a crop to at least 1.5 stars (61 SP). To win the intermediate class crop festival, you need to be at 3 stars (151 SP). You won't be able to win the advanced class unless you own the Seed Maker or get lucky when using the trading system and receive a 4.5 (241 SP) or higher Star Rank crop or seeds.

Once you reach the maximum 300 SP, the game will not allow you to add Fertilizer to the crop.

The Seed Maker

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Without the Seed Maker, your crops will reach a Star Rank as high as their growth time allows. If you can't convert your 1-Star Turnip into seeds, then you're stuck simply making more 1-Star Turnips. It is a good idea to save several of your upgraded crops in your farmhouse Refrigerator until you own the Seed Maker, so you don't have to start over from .5 stars when the crop's growth season rolls back around.

Using the Seed Maker will return bag of seeds for normal crops. If you put in a regular sized crop, you will receive one bag of seeds in return with four seeds per bag. If you put in a Big size crop, then you will receive three bags of seeds from the Seed Maker. A Giant size crop will earn you seven bags of seeds. Unfortunately, putting a water paddy crop into the Seed Maker will not earn you more than one seed. Since you can't multiply your Rice, Lotus Root, or Wasabi, you're only upgrading the Star Rank of your original plants. It may be pointless to increase the rank of your water paddy crops since once they've been shipped, gifted, eaten, or cooked, they're gone until you grow them again and raise their SP back to what it was before.

Putting a crop into the Seed Maker will give it a little bit of Star Points; I've seen returned seeds with a jump to the next half-star level. Once you complete all five maker machines you will activate the Maker Improvement plan combination and earn even more Star Points when you convert crops back into seeds.

Utilizing Your Terraces

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Your farm isn't all flat; there are some areas that are higher than your base land. These terraced areas are on your main farm land and in the East Farm area that unlocks after you complete Town Restoration Plan #3. Placing a field and growing crops on these higher areas will boost the Star Rank of the crops. If you add fertilizer to the terraced crops, you'll earn more Star Points than what the Fertilizer itself adds. Basically, terraced fields increase Star Rank faster than non-terraced fields.

On your main farm space you have two terraced areas in the northeast corner: a Level 1 terrace and a much smaller Level 2 terrace. You can access these areas by going up the land ramp that connects the raised area to your flat space. The Level 1 can fit four crop fields (due to its strange layout) and the Level 2 can fit one crop field placed vertically in the area.

In your East Farm area there are four terraced levels. You can reach them just by pressing the B button to hop up to the next level. The lowest level (Level 1) is closer to the flat area and the highest level (Level 4) is up at the top by the Geyser boulder. Levels 1, 2, and 3 will fit three crop fields on each terrace but Level 4 only fits two.

For example, if you planted a .5 Star Rank crop on a field and simply added Fertilizer, you would earn 5 Star Points. If you put that same field on the highest Level 4 terrace in your East Farm, you would get the 5 SP from the Fertilizer, plus an additional 2 SP for fertilizing on the Level 4 terrace. The normal crop would take six days to increase 30 Star Points (6 x 5 = 30) while the Level 4 terraced crop will take five days (5 x 7 = 35). Over time, the terraced crop will have a higher Star Rank than the non-terraced crop.

Decreasing Star Rank

A crop's or tree's Star Rank can decrease when affected by a summer hurricane or winter snow storm. It is only approximately 10 Star Points, but it can happen. For crops that have 3 Stars or less, it only takes 2 applications of Fertilizer to recoup what you lost due to the storm.