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Why do farmers allow me to harvest their crops? Is it not a monetary loss to them if I go away without selling the harvest?

I heard tell there was an in-game book that detailed the economic system of Skyrim, but I do not know its name. Is there an explanation to this?

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closed as not constructive by Raven Dreamer Feb 10 '12 at 15:09

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

There is a difference between the economics and the game model.

How does it benefit the farmer if you pick their crops? Economically, they are paying you for your labour. They presumably sell the crop for more than they pay you for picking them.

Economically, yes, I think it is safe to assume that the farmer 'owns' the crops as he would have tilled the land and planted them. If you don't give him the crops you harvest, it is effectively stealing from him.

The game seems to have a simple economic model for farming. You can happily take crops as ingredients or "sell" them to the farmer. I haven't seen any evidence that the farmer will on-sell his crops to retailers or what not. I also haven't done a price comparison of wholesale vs. retail. Perhaps an economic major will create a mod one day.

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If I am not mistaken, crops like wheat with alchemical uses can be sold to an apothecary for a higher rate than what the farmer pays you for your labor. So yes the game is modelled that the farmer might be selling for a higher rate than what they pay you. +1 – ヴァイシャリ Feb 10 '12 at 13:28
I believe the OP is asking why picking crops without selling them back to the farmer is tolerated. – user9983 Feb 10 '12 at 15:04
Very well, it's just an oversight by the architects I guess. I am acccepting this answer particularly for the mod idea. Mark all crops as owned. That would make sense. – Aditya M P Feb 10 '12 at 15:24

It neither benefits nor hurts them.

Personally, I wondered as well why those plants are not marked as owned by the farmers, and that taking them quite literally robs them of their livelihoods. But hey, as long as it doesn't bother you morally and you want the ingredients, there are no negative repercussions.

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