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Success Story

Improving Agronomy through a Passion for Research

Chippewa County Success from the Field
Publish Date
Woman in a light pink shirt standing in front of a corn field

Experimenting with on-field solutions to reduce cost of input for producers, Jody Wilhelm’s efforts on her Chippewa County farm have naturally supported existing conservation practices. Thanks to EQIP, Jody has been able to seed cover crops for ongoing evaluation and analysis.


After receiving her degree in Marketing and Communications with an emphasis in Agriculture from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Southern Minnesota native, Jody Wilhelm, met and married her husband, Aaron. They decided to put down roots in Fall Creek, Wisconsin, where Aaron took over his family’s 1100 acres farm. Jody was intrigued by the lighter soil colors of northern Wisconsin, mainly attributed to a deficit of soil organic matter and a coarser texture. In 2015, Jodi and Aaron launched A&J Agronomy, a crop and soil health consulting company servicing West Central Wisconsin.


Jody has a strong passion for agriculture and figuring out the best way to do things. As she experiments with on– field solutions to reduce cost of input for producers, her efforts have naturally supported existing conservation practices. Her unique access to a wide range of producers around the Eau Claire area allows her to create an impact with more ease and trust. She passionately talks to landowners at many events about her personal on-farm research trials and methods.

The main driver of research on the farm is finding solutions for reducing fertilizer inputs by increasing soil organic matter, therefore improving soil health. Some of Jody’s current trials include understanding how inputs and yields fluctuate by comparing conventional to exclusively no-till systems; effects of cover crop species mixes inter-seeded into corn grain; the effect of soil moisture on fertilizer availability at specific depths; and how rye cover crops affect long-term profitability. 

Thanks to the financial assistance provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Jody has been able to seed rye cover crops for ongoing evaluation and analysis. Currently in the fifth year of their EQIP contract, Jody is dedicated to implementing soil health practices, including rye and multi-species cover crop mixes.

Future Plans

Jody is currently studying the effects of soil texture compared to nutrient availability for her master’s program at Iowa State University. One of her main goals for upcoming trials is to improve the seed mix in the inter-seeded corn plots—taking into consideration factors such as crop nutrient and water requirements, as well as the optimal timing and rate of planting. No-till farming has become a priority focus for Jody’s future research, knowing the practice allows for less labor, time, fuel, and passes across a field, which all calculate to lower input costs. She plans to add more no-till plots little by little, monitoring closely for yield drops.

An experimenter and businesswoman at heart, Jody is keeping an open mind to other innovations and research as it evolves. The NRCS Chippewa Falls and Altoona field offices are excited to discuss the progress and outcomes of Jody’s recent on-field experiments with the hopes of being better able to serve and understand landowners and the influences behind their operational decisions.

Additional Information

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