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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.
It’s week six, and I’m starting to think something suspicious may have happened mid-season with Gerald’s neighbor, Carl Dinglehiem.
I knew he wouldn’t give me a straight answer, so I enlisted the help of Debbie LeDue, a waitress down at the Get Up and Get After It Café, to find the truth.
With her help, I rigged-up a microphone to Carl’s regular table. She asked a few probing questions, and just as I suspected, I found out Carl was hiding something. He wouldn’t tell Debbie exactly what happened, but whatever the problem, he had Hansen Johansson take care of it.
Hansen Johannson, the aerial applicator in Eggert County, told me Carl asked him to do a few passes of Fungicidious YD. Our family has only used that product for treating white mold. Was that the issue this whole time?
I went to Debbie again, not to bug her about Carl, but to get a cup of coffee at the Café. She offered up some unsolicited information. She told me a few of the other regulars in here had asked Hansen to take care of their problems. More than normal. Hansen had been tipping Debbie like he had money to spare. Did everyone in Eggert County have white mold?
I talked to my retailer, Kenny Roger, to figure out what Carl could have been treating.
As it turns out, Fungicidous YD treats a whole range of diseases – rust, spot leaf – especially grey spot leaf, soybean vein necrosis virus and stem canker. Kenny tells me there was a quantity of Fungicidious YD moved about mid-season, but if white mold was the problem, there are easier ways to deal with it. On top of that, he told me that if the seed was white mold resistant, the disease shouldn’t be a problem at all.
More questions. Many more questions. It sounds like I need to have another conversation with Seed Boy about white mold.
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.
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.