MORE UPDATES! So it turns out this issue is a much bigger problem than I initially thought. After it was pointed out in the code on the subreddit by /u/rabidcow, I confirmed through several tests on multiple characters that outside of the partial benefit from Basic/Quality Fertilizer, the game either considers you to be at Farming Level 10, or Farming Level 0, with no other possible values. Just to clarify, as confirmed by my tests, this means that when you are at Farming Level 0, or 1, or 2, up to level 9, you get no benefit from your Farming Level, and all your crops will always be 97% regular, 2% silver, and 1% gold. When you hit farming Level 10, suddenly your crops jump to 46% regular, 33% silver, and 21% gold. And then using buffs to go beyond Farming Level 10, the game still only considers you being at Farming Level 10. So outside of fertilizers, these are the only two quality chances for crops used by the game. More details in this thread. END OF UPDATE So a little while ago I was looking all over for a breakdown on just what the various skills (Farming, Fishing, Foraging, Mining, Combat) actually do, aside from the obvious crafting recipe unlocks and 0.1 energy reduction on tool use. The little information I did find on the topic was rife with speculation and rumors, so I finally bit the bullet and started running tests myself. So far I've only really tested very specific aspects of Farming & Foraging, and I haven't looked at Luck at all since I only run tests on "Neutral Spirits" days, but have enough evidence to show the following, and confirmed it through testing: The RNG for the quality for each particular crop appears to get set at the moment you sleep the previous night. This means that continually reloading the save file for the same day over and over always yields the exact same proportions of normal/silver/gold quality crops. This RNG gets reset each night when you go to sleep, so leaving ripe crops in the ground and sleeping into the next Neutral Spirits day will get you a similar, but slightly different proportions of normal/silver/gold quality. These rules also apply to forageables (Daffodils, Wild Horseradish, etc.) whether in the wild or planted on your farm, as well as wood/seeds/sap/Hardwood from chopping down trees. However, Spring Onions are an exception to this for some reason, and their RNG for quality gets reset each time you load a save, so every time you harvest them it can be slightly different. Things get a little more interesting once you introduce Skill Levels into the equation, however: For crops, forageables, and chopping down trees, an "experienced" character with Level 10 Farming and Foraging has measurably improved quality of crops & forageables, and gets more wood from trees, compared to a new character with Level 1 Farming & Foraging. I assume this is due to the difference in Skill Level, but it could conceivably be due to other factors. Eating + Foraging food increases the overall quality of foraged items & amount of wood from trees, but doesn't reroll the RNG. I.E., reloading the same save over and over and eating a + 3 Foraging skill food each time will result in the exact same improvement in quality over a non-food harvest every time (except for Spring Onions, which reroll their RNG with every reload). This works even when you character is already at Level 10 in the skill, temporarily granting them an effective "Level 13" if eating a +3 skill food. For example, at Foraging Level 10, berry bushes yield 3 berries each, but eating a +2 Foraging food will cause all berry bushes to yield 4 berries each. (You gain + 1 Wild berry harvesting every 4 levels, not just at level 4) Regular crops on the farm gain no benefit from + Farming skill foods whatsoever, whether the food is eaten while planting, harvesting, or the night before harvesting. I assume this to be a bug, given how + Foraging skill foods do boost forageables on harvest, including forageables grown on the farm using Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter seeds. UPDATE: It seems that + Farming Skill foods can have an effect, but only when used with Basic/Quality Fertilizer, and even then, only roughly half of the expected effect. I plucked around 2000 parsnips for crops, chopped a few hundred trees, and collected a hundred or so foragables, but if you wanted a ballpark idea of the effect of skill levels, here is an average of my results at Farming/Foraging Skill Levels 1, 10, and 10 +3 food buff. Percentage of normal/silver/gold quality items harvested at various Skill Levels: Farming (crops) = ~96%/2%/2% @ Level 1, ~45%/34%/21% @ Level 10, ~45%/34%/21% @ Level 10 + 3 (no change) Foraging (forageables) = ~96%/2%/2% @ Level 1, ~20%/40%/40% @ Level 10, ~5%/45%/50%% @ Level 10 + 3 Foraging (trees) = 17.5 wood per tree @ Level 1, 20 wood per tree @ Level 10, 21 wood per tree @ Level 10 + 3 Tree seeds and Hardwood (with Lumberjack profession) remained steady at ~1 seed and ~0.5 Hardwood per tree, and trees always drop exactly 6 sap If necessary I can post the exact data from each of the tests, but I'm gonna avoid tidying & formatting all of that if I can help it. The basic methodology of the tests were: All tests done during Spring on 'Neutral Spirits" days to eliminate Luck as a factor. Tests were done both on my 53 hour "main character" with a 10 in Farming & Foraging, and a new "test character" with a 1 in Farming & Foraging. Farming: I used 150 Parsnips planted on Deluxe Speed Grow (to shorten testing time). Since simply reloading the save always yields identical harvests, I would continually sleep until the TV showed another "Neutral Spirits" day in order to roll a new set of results. For each potential variable I tested (such as Skill Level, eating food before planting, before harvesting, etc.), I would usually do 3 rolls (of 150 parsnips each) and average the results. Foraging: I harvested the exact same patches of 28 Spring Onions, or harvested the same set of 12 forageables spread across Cindersap Forest, The Bus Stop, & Pelican Town. Since simply reloading the save always yields identical harvests (except for Spring Onions), I repeated on a few different days and averaged the results. For Spring Onions I repeated about 6 times for each variable, and averaged the results. Trees: I chopped down the same set of 20 pine trees. Since simply reloading the save always yields identical harvests, I repeated on a few different days and averaged the results. Well, I'm a little "tested out" from the past couple days, but am still very, very, curious about what things Skill Levels do & don't affect. Do Farming Skill & Foraging Skill have any other hidden effects, or just these ones I happened to find out? What about the other Skills? Does Mining Skill improve the drops from stones? I hear Fishing Skill increases the size of the green fishing bar, but does it improve anything else? Also, is there somewhere I should report a bug about the + Farming Skill food not working? I'd love it if the game mentioned what exactly these Skills do in something like a tooltip, "Living off the Land" episode, or Library book, etc. E.G.: "The higher your Foraging Skill, the more high-quality forageables you will harvest, and the more wood trees will drop! Try eating a + Foraging boosting food before foraging and felling trees!" I'm still partway through the game, but as far as I know, all it tells you about is the reduced energy use with tools part, and a vague mention that eating the right food is necessary to catching Legendary fish. In the meantime, before I work up the energy to start any more tests, does anybody happen to know any solid info about what the Skills do? Maybe from looking at the game code or something? I'd really appreciate it! UPDATE: Just for clarity's sake, I performed another test showing that even when your Farming Skill is below 10, eating + Farming Skill foods don't provide a quality benefit (while the + Skill foods do work for Foraging, at least). In this test, I had my new character with Level 4 Farming Skill harvest 50 Parsnips, which yielded 49 regular parsnips and 1 silver parsnip. As explained before, this repeats exactly every time I reload that save, including which particular parsnip is the silver one (it happened to be one next to my scarecrow). After confirming the result a few times just to be safe, on the next 3 reloads I ate a Hashbrowns (+1 Farming Skill) before harvesting. I still get 49 regular Parsnips and 1 silver Parsnip each time, and it's always the Parsnip next to my scarecrow which is the silver one. The + Farming Skill buff has no effect. UPDATE #2, Stardew Boogaloo: After some more testing involving different fertilizers, it seems that + Farming Skill foods can have an effect, but only when used with Basic/Quality Fertilizer, and even then, only roughly half of the expected effect. More details here. UPDATE #3, Return of the Bugs: Well this whole issue is actually quite a bit bigger in scope than I thought. I turns out that the game ignores your Farming Skill entirely (aside from partially with Basic/Quality Fertilizers) until you reach Farming Level 10. More details in this thread.