Livestock (pigs) economics

bossmanslim
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Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by bossmanslim » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:05 pm

I have been wondering just how bad the economics are on raising livestock. As I have pigs and they are easy to do quickly analysis on, here is how their economics break down.

Methodology:
  • All food will be treated as costing the target sell price. Manure and slurry are treated as being sold at the sell point because the BGA is an insane price. They could be used as fertilizer, but I don't want to get into the math for that.
  • Equipment cost other than specific pig farming only items will be ignored because that cost would be incurred to sell the crop (grain production, trailers, tractors, baling equipment, etc.)
  • This was done with a short (1.45 hour) and long (14.85 hour)data sets and then averaged. The data isn't quite linear and I assume that has something to do with the time acceleration while "sleeping".
  • Large pig pen used in order to get reproduction rates up
One time costs = $569740:
  • Large pig pen - $250000
  • Slurry tank - $72000
  • Loader, bale spike & bucket - $8240 (averaged between small and large tractor loader)
  • Water trailer - $9500
  • Leased livestock trailer - $5000
  • 150 pigs - $225000
Hourly costs = $588.74:
  • Corn - $272.25
  • Wheat - $117.48
  • Canola - $170.29
  • Sugar Beets - $8.48
  • Straw - $20.25
Hourly revenue = $1519.20
  • Pigs - $1400 (1.4 pigs per hour @ $1000)
  • Manure - $55.02
  • Slurry - $64.18
Profit per hour = $930.46

Hours to break even = 613 in game hours

If the player skips nights (sleeps for half the day), then it drops to 306.5 hours. Assuming the player is working 8 of the 12 remaining hours on farm stuff, the player is looking at 200 hours of game play before they can start breaking even on their initial investment. Daily profit after that is only $22331, which is basically nothing compared to other crops. A player could invest that $570K into 13 acres and come out with about $73000 in canola everyday on fast crops, $36530 on normal crops.

TL:DR livestock are not worth the money unless you like them, are playing on new farmer with pens already in place or plan on playing for a long time.

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aklein
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by aklein » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:18 pm

Somewhere around 70 pigs they produce 1 every 2 hours. I think pigs are an OK money deal on MP when the server runs 24X7, ie it does not pause when empty. We keep between 70 and 100 and sell 12 pigs each day for a stead 12K income. Were doing this on a small map owning a half dozen fields with smallish equipment. We also set growth control to 48 hours per growth cycle and have no issue keeping up. Its slow money but very steady compared to wool, milk and egg prices that in constant flux. Horses on the other hand they will roll you in cash on MP.

DirectCedar
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by DirectCedar » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:35 pm

bossmanslim wrote: ↑
Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:05 pm

TL:DR livestock are not worth the money unless you like them, are playing on new farmer with pens already in place or plan on playing for a long time.
Corstaad did a very good, similar analysis of dairy economics in one of his posts. It showed basically the same thing; a very long payback on the initial capital investment and then a trickle of cashflow-positive income after that. His observations based on this conclusion were basically the same as yours - that the game was not balanced to account for the much higher upfront costs of raising livestock with the new placeable system, and that livestock investment/reward is not balanced against cropping investment/reward.

He also found, as you alluded to, that basing a large part of your dairy revenue stream on the price you receive for slurry at the BGA is a critical source of income if you ever want to pay off your barn. Which is daft.

This is all too bad. It wouldn't have been that tough to balance these things a bit better. They did a pretty good job of it in 17. There is a balance in this game between the zen of a redundant task, and the steady feeling of virtual accomplishment and progression. When you only have one it really nerfs the fun.

george.earlslight
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by george.earlslight » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:55 pm

After a certain point, where you make enough money from your primary activities, you need to be proactive and create interesting situations by yourself. Be it investing in animals, trying new crops, going for logging etc.
So for me, animals are just something to make the game more interesting, not an income source.

Ideally, the game should be balanced to provide equal income depending on effort and initial investment, but at this point, it doesn't.

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Arrancar88
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by Arrancar88 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:11 pm

Pigs were awful money wise already in FS17. People usually keep them only for manure/slurry.
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Farming since FS2009 :hi:

DirectCedar
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by DirectCedar » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:37 pm

george.earlslight wrote: ↑
Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:55 pm
After a certain point, where you make enough money from your primary activities, you need to be proactive and create interesting situations by yourself. Be it investing in animals, trying new crops, going for logging etc.
So for me, animals are just something to make the game more interesting, not an income source.

Ideally, the game should be balanced to provide equal income depending on effort and initial investment, but at this point, it doesn't.
I completely agree with this assessment, and I approach the game with the same strategy. It is fun to roleplay a diverse operation, but leaves a bitter taste if you pay attention to the fact that certain parts of the operation are constant, baseline loss leaders and are siphoning cash from other operations. In real life my accountant would lose his mind if I tried to justify to him expanding into dairy on that basis :lol:

The biggest downer about this design imbalance is that it takes most of the fun away from trying to play -just- a certain type of farm based on one of the imbalanced enterprises (solely dairy, solely hogs, whatever) because it is an epic grind and provides very little progression without subsidizing from another operation, or cheating money, both of which are hollow solutions when you just want to be a virtual dairy farmer making a comfortable virtual living :biggrin2:

bossmanslim
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by bossmanslim » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:52 pm

george.earlslight wrote: ↑
Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:55 pm
After a certain point, where you make enough money from your primary activities, you need to be proactive and create interesting situations by yourself. Be it investing in animals, trying new crops, going for logging etc.
So for me, animals are just something to make the game more interesting, not an income source.

Ideally, the game should be balanced to provide equal income depending on effort and initial investment, but at this point, it doesn't.
New crops actually pay off pretty quick as does logging.

Logging for example
  • Initial investment not counting land with all the best equipment = about $800k
  • In 8 game hours, the player should be able to cut and hall 10 loads of logs = $400k
  • Everything paid off in 16 hours, even if they are slow and we double it is 32 hours, still almost a 1/10th of animals
  • Future income can be done at will with no daily requirements for $40K per load of logs

petebng_games
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by petebng_games » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:36 pm

The whole animal system feels like a missed opportunity really.
The economics don't really add up and the level of interaction and realism with the animals could be better.
Personally i would love to see young stock introduced and the inclusion of Bulls Rams and Boars.
With this i'd have a breeding system where animals don't automatically reproduce so if you have no bull you have no calves, you could even go as far as being able to buy differing bulls, cheap ones have a slower reproduction time than say a breed champ which costs much more.
Also by assigning the new animals as male or female you would only get milk from females and the males could be moved into beef production ( separate paddock and sell point) or sold back to the animal dealer.
I'd also have varying milk production rates so for example a young female calf produces no milk until day 10 when it matures to produce 75 percent and then when it reaches 20 days it produces 100 percent and production could drop off again if the cow was over say 40 days old.
For this to work you would have to change the price of milk and the production rates but you would have to work out what levels give a decent return without having to wait hundreds of hours to turn a profit.

Similar could be applied to the sheep, no reproduction until a ram is purchased, ability to buy different breeds with some more suited to wool production (ie faster) and some worth more as meat when matured.
Again same with pigs no male no reproduction, different breeds have different attributes, some worth more in meat some produce higher slurry/manure rates.

It would give a bit more of an interaction with the animals and allow players to be purely animal based if they so wished.

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TaintedBlackCat
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by TaintedBlackCat » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:12 pm

Seasons on 17 improved the overall animal economy. As the seasons transitioned the purchase price and sale price of the animals fluctuated, I remember selling pigs for around $5500 each and purchasing them at around $1300 if it was the right time of the year. Obviously seasons also made animal husbandry more in depth with pigs only breeding two out of the four seasons..

Hopefully when seasons is released animal husbandry will make a bit more sense and be a genuinely worthwhile investment. Would be good to see Bossmanslim's figures where seasons was in play..
I'm not perfect..but I'm Australian, and that's pretty damn close!!🐈 Yes! My Avatar is one of my many black, tainted, pet cats. Ex Royal Australian Navy turned Dairy Farmer, 410 total milking herd. Wagga, NSW.

gordon861
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by gordon861 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:27 pm

It feels like the economy in FS19 was just cut'n'paste from FS17 but without the allowances for increased costs or other changes. Things like great demands nearly always being for less than prices at another location.

Eische
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by Eische » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:03 am

Just throwing in my 2cents here:

- cows will be improved with the upcoming patch 1.3:
--- higher sell price for milk
--- higher milk production
--- lower amount of food needed
--- manure and slurry production increased

For pigs:
- reproduction rate per day is 1/6. So with 150 initial pigs, you will get 25 pigs each day assuming 100% productivity
- if food demand is not changed since my last tests, pigs consume 70L per day factored by the % values:
--- 35L corn (50%)
--- 17.5L wheat/barley (25%)
--- 14L canola (20%)
--- 3.4L sugarbeets (5%)

The main problem is, that the sell prices for pigs do not change with the economic difficulty setting. According to my last test on hard mode, you definitely make more money per hectare each day, if you feed your crops to pigs, rather than selling the crops directly.
If you are playing on normal or easy mode, pigs are not the money makers anymore.

You don't need large amount of fields to maintain your pigs. If you by straw at the dealer, you can just do harvesting missions and use the residual crops for your pigs and pretty much do not need any own fields. That saves a lot of money for your own fields/harvesting equipment.

Instead of starting out with 150 pigs, you could start with 60 pigs only. Your initial costs will be down by 135000. After 7 days you have your 150 pigs if you keep productivity at 100%. As mentioned, food can be generated doing harvesting missions. That way you can make money through the mission payment, save a lot of investment costs (land/equipment) and increase your number of pigs.

You can spare the costs for slurry tanker. Slurry and manure production for pigs is too low. Just lease it once you have reasonable amount stored at your pigs pen.
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Corstaad
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by Corstaad » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:06 pm

My "fix" is not playing the game on a map without placeables already on the map. They didn't account for any of the increase costs with 19. I don't like any of default placeables anyways.

Growing into a herd is only viable option. Recouping the money from initial purchase cost adds way to many days to see profits. Pigs chickens kinda sheep it's feasible. Cows this won't work. No way your going to watch one cow a day build up. I just start beginning farmer sell everything, buy very basics and waste extra money. Put the game on hard economy. They did a poor job quantifying balance in FS19.

bossmanslim
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by bossmanslim » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:01 pm

Corstaad wrote: ↑
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:06 pm
My "fix" is not playing the game on a map without placeables already on the map. They didn't account for any of the increase costs with 19. I don't like any of default placeables anyways.
My main issue with this method is that it most of the maps assume you want to do all 4/5 species rather than concentrate on one.

Corstaad
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by Corstaad » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:44 pm

Yah it's not perfect.

Corstaad
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Re: Livestock (pigs) economics

Post by Corstaad » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:46 pm

Like Marwell you end up with a ton of acreage. On start from scratch you still keep pigs and chicken pens.

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