Research

Blue River Organic Seed continually develops new hybrids that set the bar in organic seed performance for you—the organic farmer. Reliable performance starts with the seed and the correct set of genetic tools to yield optimal results. We emphasize genetic traits of particular importance in organic farming systems: insect and disease resistance, weed tolerance, and responsiveness to soil conditions and climatic stressors.

Breeding

We rely on the time honored tradition of selective breeding, where we identify and breed plants with desirable traits. In any given year, our highly trained breeders consider 5,000 new genotypes and sow upwards of five million plants. We sow, cultivate, and harvest against rigorous quality control procedures, and use specialized equipment to minimize human error and ensure accuracy.

Testing

From these initial results, Blue River selects five to ten percent of the best new genotypes and develops 500 new hybrids, about one-fifth of which make it into our extensive on-farm trialing network.

In the end, Blue River selects only those hybrids that perform reliably and consistently in organic farming systems.

Blue River recognizes the importance of public programs in advancing the needs and priorities of organic farmers. We regularly donate or discount seed to selected universities, colleges, and non-profits. In addition, we have participated in public- private collaborations with Ohio State University, Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), Rodale Institute, and SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education).