True Believer

Jerry Ackermann never intended to sell cover crop seed.
He just wanted to plant it.
Now he does both.
The longtime Lakefield-area farmer has been a prominent local cover crops advocate for years. He became a dealer for La Crosse Seed — which specializes in cover crop, forage and turf seed — about five years ago.
“Some years ago, about three or four of us in the area started experimenting with cover crops,” Ackermann said.
He first learned of Wisconsin-based La Crosse Seed at a trade show.
“We found they would mix up anything we wanted,” Ackermann recalled. “That’s their thing — they mix for the customer, which is very unique in the industry.”
Not long after he planted his first cover crop, Ackermann said he started seeing benefits.
Big benefits.
“There’s cost benefits of using cover crops; there’s yield benefits that go with it,” he said. “We see improved soil health and water infiltration, it makes weed control so much easier and less costly — they can even help protect against stalk rot and can affect ground temperature, which affects corn production. There are so many benefits, some of which I wasn’t even looking for or expecting.”
Ackermann said he was a cover crop believer, but not a dealer — that is, until a change in the structure of La Crosse Seed made necessary a local dealership. He agreed to take the lead.
Since starting to sell seed, Ackermann said he has seen interest in cover crops grow.

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