Seed World

La Crosse Seed Works to Expand Footprint

Photo: La Crosse Seed.

La Crosse Seed reports it’s doing its part to help showcase the importance of soil and water conservation through the use of quality seed and sound agronomics. Dedication to delivering its message to ag professionals nationwide has La Crosse Seed in the midst of many initiatives and sustainability efforts, both public and private. A few of these include:

  • Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) Business Council executive team
  • American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) Cover Crop Working Group chair
  • Soil Health Partnership field support
  • ADM/Unilever Sustainable Soy Continuous Improvement Program
  • Numerous regional conservation partnership program sponsorships (Saginaw Bay Watershed, Middle Cedar Partnership Project, Michigan State University Extension’s Aerial Application of Cover Crops Study and more)

The investment that goes along with these efforts is worth it. For instance, the company’s involvement with ASTA has helped it gain credibility and support from partners within the ag community, and provides a seat at the table to discuss important seed industry issues, both domestic and abroad.

“From cover crops and pollinators to turf and forage, the seed industry has worlds of opportunity, but still faces challenges,” says Scott Wohltman, cover crop lead for La Crosse Seed. “Our work with ASTA gives our customers confidence they’re connected with a leader who shares their commitment to producing better crops for a better quality of life.”

As an ASTA member, La Crosse Seed understands the importance of, and advocates for, clean, quality seed. With industry questions arising regarding quality and cleanliness, the company recently launched a communication initiative to educate customers on its Secure Sourced & Supplied Seed Process, which outlines the deliberate practices and checkpoints it verifies to ensure consistently high seed quality standards.

Recent momentum in conservation seed has also led to an expanding footprint. Prior to 2012, La Crosse Seed focused in the upper Midwest, with sales and distribution dedicated primarily to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. After bringing on experienced seedsmen from surrounding states about five years ago, the company now has distribution in more than 30 states from as far West as Montana to the Eastern seaboard. Recent additions include sales staff covering the Mid-South as well as a business development lead focusing on New England and the Mid-Atlantic.

“We’ve worked hard to become a leader … with a focus on promoting the role our seeds play in sustainability applications, and we’re excited to continue that momentum,” adds Dan Foor, La Crosse Seed CEO.

La Crosse Seed believes in delivering sound, practical recommendations to its dealers. By focusing on seed that some ag professionals may not be as familiar with, the company takes pride in its ability to answer questions ranging from what to plant and how to plant it, to cost share inquiries and marketing support.

“As interest in small seed expands, it’s important that we’re ready to help in any way we can,” says Wohltman.

The company is focused on delivering not only its service promise, but also quality products through its Soil First and Cover Crop Solutions cover crop seed brands, and its Natives First native grass and wildflower seed brand. During the past few years, it has brought new brands and products to the market, including:

  • LINK Cover Crop Inoculant
  • Cover Crop Solutions (brand ownership assumed in 2016)
  • Natives First Native Grasses and Wildflowers
  • ColdSnap Annual Ryegrass

In addition to new conservation brands, La Crosse Seed has also introduced new products under its Forage First forage portfolio, including:

  • Forage First alfalfas (conventional, leafhopper and Roundup Ready varieties)
  • Forage First FF 9615 Red Clover
  • Summer Select Summer Annuals
  • CrosseCoat Premium Seed Coating Platform

As the company continues to grow, it will continue to expand its footprint along with new product offerings.

“It is an exciting time for our industry and the organization,” Foor says.