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White Turnips are a unique type of flora present in every Animal Crossing series game to date. They can be bought from Joan every Sunday, before 12 p.m. Through the Stalk Market, turnips can quickly multiply or degrade in value, and must be sold before Sunday to avoid spoiling. The player cannot grow their own white turnips, but Red Turnips can be grown in Wild World and City Folk.
Turnips automatically spoil at 6AM on the Sunday after they were bought, and are then worthless. Changing the game time and date forward will also cause spoiling, hence Joan's warning that the turnips "are highly sensitive to time paradoxes". There are however known glitches and manipulations in the Animal Crossing series that keep turnips from rotting over longer periods of time, for instance changing the time backwards instead, though this does not work in New Leaf.
Spoiled white turnips can be placed on the ground to attract ants, cockroaches (GCN) and flies (Wild World and beyond), so spoiled turnips do indeed have a use. However, like other "garbage" type items, when sold to Reese, she will charge a disposal fee of 400 bells.
Buying and Selling
Turnips are purchased from Joan, a special character who wanders the town during Sunday. Joan will sell turnips at a random asking price per week, in the range of 90-110 Bells per Turnip. Unlike Red Turnips, white turnips can be bought in infinite quantity.
Joan will not sell turnips if the player has recently changed the game time, explaining that she is out of stock for both white and red turnips. Changing the console time directly rather than in-game can avoid this penalty, however.
White turnips are sold through the Stalk Market, an in-game parody of the real-life Stock Market. In most games Tom Nook is the middleman for the Stalk Market, but in New Leaf this role is replaced by Reese. As with the Stock Market in real life, the Stalk Market's buying price for turnips fluctuates. The price changes twice a day, first at midnight, and again at midday.
Sell prices for turnips varies from as low as 15 Bells a turnip to as high as 400-800, but lower than 200 and higher than 50 is most common. The more extreme prices can more than quadruple the player's investment, and higher prices can quickly turn several millions of Bells in a short time.
Though prices are random, there is a loose tendency for them to rise from Monday through Wednesday and then drop Thursday through Saturday.
In New Leaf, the Stalk Market can be somewhat predicted, as it follows four distinct patterns. The New Leaf patterns are as follows.
- Random- This pattern has no order and is market by randomly fluctuating prices, however, prices usually go above purchase price twice a week.
- Decreasing- Prices will gradually decrease at random intervals. If you notice no increases by Thursday morning, sell immediately at whatever price Reese has, since you are almost guaranteed to have this pattern.
- Small Spike- Twice during the week, prices will increase twice then decrease twice. All other prices are random, but usually do not exceed buying price. If you notice the price increase twice, do not sell unless the price exceeds a considerable amount, since there is a second spike.
- Large Spike- Once during the week, the prices will increase thrice then decrease thrice. Again, all other prices are random, but do not usually exceed buying prices. If you notice three consecutive increases in the week, immediately sell since this will be the highest price you can get.
Some known turnip tricks are listed below. These tricks address any outcomes from time traveling or failing to water the turnips.
Time Traveling Consequence
When the player changes the time in Animal Crossing, Joan will arrive in town out of stock for both turnip types, a consequence for attempting to exploit time travel. A workaround for this is changing the Wii/DS time forward a minute, re-synchronizing the game time with the console time. However, to buy Joan's turnips will require waiting a week until she visits again.
Another way to avoid this is by changing the console time. Changing the console's time changes the game's time, but not the other way around so there are no consequences.
In Wild World, placing turnips on a table inside the player's house can prevent them from rotting. To do this, first the player must drop a tool in front of the table, then drop the turnip which should land on the table. If the table trick is attempted, the turnips will not spoil overnight.
Visiting other towns glitch
In Animal Crossing, if the player has turnips in their inventory and they travel on the train to a village with clock settings earlier in time than the most recent Sunday in the traveling character's town, they will turn spoiled when arriving at the destination.
In New Leaf this no longer occurs. This potentially allows for infinite profit, as two people (or one person with two systems) can, in theory, have one game with Joan currently in town and another with a high turnip price at Re-Tail (ideally 500+), and travel between the two with no consequence.