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Episode: 1
Great Yield Mystery

Last year was a banner year. Soybeans. Corn. Conditions didn’t seem to favor one more than the other – it was all good. So why then did one of Eggert County’s top producers fall alarmingly short of his yield goal? If it can happen to Gerald Fitzgerald it can happen to anyone. Unless his brother Darrell can figure out what happened, who’s to say it won’t? Use the information on this website – from the latest weekly podcast, to character descriptions and especially case files, to solve The Great Yield Mystery.


Episode: 1

Great Yield Mystery Episode play

Welcome to Episode 1 of The Great Yield Mystery. For the best experience possible, please listen on your mobile device. You can subscribe via any of the channels included below.

Episode 1 Synopsis: Last year was supposed to be a banner year. Soybeans. Corn. Conditions didn’t seem to favor one more than the other – it was all good. For Darrell’s brother Gerald, not so much. For the first time anyone could recall, he came up short.


Case files

Episode: 1
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Darrell’s Notes:

Just launched my investigation into why Gerald didn’t meet his yield goal this year. He seems bewildered by it, and at this point, I am too. If nothing else, maybe this investigation will help him not make the same mistake next year. Might even teach me a few things about my own acreage.

Evidence is scarce at this juncture. Went to the potluck with my sister, like every week, but all I really learned was this outstanding funeral casserole recipe. And that really got me thinking about recipes. Gerald set out to make something pretty delicious in terms of his soybean yield goal. I’m going to have to examine all the ingredients to figure out why he’s got such a sour taste in his mouth this fall.

Here’s what I know so far:

  • Last year Gerald had a record corn yield, and people couldn’t wait to see what he did with soybeans the next year.
  • He came short of his soybean yield goal by a substantial amount.
  • Most of us in Eggert County had very good soybean yields this year. In fact, many of us exceeded our yield goals.

Going to have to get my hands on much better evidence soon. Maybe next week I’ll dive into the key ingredients to a growing season – weather factors.

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Great Yield Mystery Episode Background

Gerald Fitzgerald

As long as anyone can remember, Gerald Fitzgerald has set the bar for successful farming in this community.

Gerald’s success reached legendary status in 2014 with the highest corn yield anyone can remember on his best field. Folks wondered if he was about to do the same when he turned that field from corn to soybeans in 2015.

But Gerald isn’t walking as tall this year as he was last. An open seat sits at the coffee shop each morning where local acre-owners compare notes, and one can only wonder if this local farm star will ever re-claim his previous perch atop the county yield statistics.

Great Yield Mystery Episode Background

Darrell Fitzgerald

Gerald may have been the quarterback of the Eggert East football team, but it was Darrell who played left tackle and made sure his brother’s blind side was protected.

Some things never change. While he no longer dons the pads to protect his brother, Darrell is as brotherly as any brother might be. That includes paying careful attention to his successful operation and making sure Gerald gets the right advice from the right people.

So when he saw his brother’s shoulders slump around harvest time, Darrell took action.