Many goods in Anno 1404 are produced from the ground. These goods require adequate fertility in order to be grown. Fertility is the concept of whether or not certain types of ground can grow certain types of goods.
Types of land
Grassland only occur on northern islands which are entirely this type of ground. Grassland are always 100% fertile, and can grow all the universal fertility goods plus the goods that each northern island has the specific fertility for.
Desert only occurs on southern islands which are mostly desert. Desert cannot grow anything on its own.
Desert can be made fertile by building norias on it. This land ranges from about 66% fertile in the outer light green land ring to 100% fertile in the inner dark green land ring. Multiple nearby norias can make desert lands super-fertile, see the noria exploit.
There are small tracts of land on southern islands that are green with palm trees growing on them. This land is 100% fertile, and can grow all the universal fertility goods plus the goods that each southern island has the specific fertility for.
All livestock-based goods can be produced wherever the ground is fertile and don’t need specific per-island fertilities. This means they can be produced on northern or southern islands and there aren't any Seeds fertility items for them. The three livestock-based goods are listed below.
The following goods require per-island fertilities and can only be grown in northern climates. There are special Seeds items for each fertility below.
The following goods require per-island fertilities and can only be grown in southern climates. There are special Seeds items for each fertility below.
Clay is a unique product that is listed as a fertility although it doesn’t require fertile ground. It can be placed directly on desert. In this sense, it’s much more like a natural resource, although it’s considered a fertility since it can be produced anywhere on an island that has the appropriate fertility and not bound to a specific resource deposit.
Cultivating new fertilities
Certain islands can have new fertilities for specific goods added to them. A question mark will be listed in the fertilities display to indicate this. To add a new fertility you must purchase the appropriate seeds from either Northburgh or Al Zahir. Then socket the item in the island warehouse and activate it. The island will now have this fertility until you remove the item from the socket, at which point the item is destroyed and any existing buildings using this fertility will become inactive.
Note that if you socket a southern island fertility item into a northern island warehouse or vice versa, you still cannot produce this good and the item will be wasted.
Tips & Tricks
- When first settling an Occident island at the start of the game, make sure it has cider and hemp fertilities (nearly all large Occident islands do).
- When first settling an Orient island at the start of the game, try to find one with dates, clay, indigo, and silk or three of those with an open fertility.
- Also consider the natural resources of islands along with the fertilities, particularly for your main Occident and orient settlements.
- Settle new islands based on what additional fertilities you’re going to need. The more exotic fertilities like grapes, bees, and roses can be rare and other players might grab them all if you aren’t quick enough.
- There are a few items that boost production of buildings that produce fertility goods. Socket these items in island warehouses where you produce these goods. You can use multiple items and the boost is cumulative.