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Albert Lea Seed House Announces Acquisition of Blue River Organic Seed 

Albert Lea Seed House, owner of Viking Corn & Soybeans and one of the largest suppliers of organic field seed in the U.S., today announced it has acquired Blue River Organic Seed, the nation’s longest-established organic seed corn brand from the Farmers Business Network (FBN).   

Founded in 2005 and based in Ames, Iowa, Blue River’s product line includes organic corn, silage, soybean, alfalfa, forages and sorghum. Albert Lea Seed is headquartered in Albert Lea, Minnesota. In addition to organic seeds, its product line also includes small grains, cover crops, wildflowers and native grasses.

“We firmly believe that integrating the Viking & Blue River Organic seed brands will be a real benefit to organic farmers,” said Albert Lea Seed President Mac Ehrhardt.  “The combined company will provide the best selection of organic-specific genetics, delivered by a farmer-focused team that specializes in organic agriculture and from a family-owned company that is committed to the long-term growth and success of organic agriculture.”

Highlights of the Acquisition:

  • Elevates Albert Lea Seed as the largest organic field seed supplier, producer, and commercialization expert in the U.S.
  • Brings experienced industry leaders to the Albert Lea Seed team and will expand the organization’s relationships in the organic farming market.
  • Adds Blue River’s 40,000-square-foot, climate-controlled seed warehouse and office for support and distribution of the combined Viking/Blue River Organic Seed brand.

The combined Viking/Blue River Organic seed brand will operate out of Albert Lea, Minnesota and Ames, Iowa.

“We have long admired the success of Albert Lea Seed. We are proud to join forces with them to accelerate our successes and seize the opportunity to further evolve the organic farming industry,” said Maury Johnson, co-founder of Blue River Organic Seed. “We cherish our Midwest roots, and we remain committed to ensuring that farmers all across the country will benefit from the responsible production, sale and use of our organic products.”

Albert Lea Seed currently serves more than 6,000 customers. The addition of Blue River will double the size of its organic corn and soybean seed business and will enable it to serve customers and dealers across the U.S. more efficiently.




Established in 1923, Albert Lea Seed is an independent, family-owned company that provides conventional non-GMO and organic seed products to farmers across the country under its Viking product line. It also offers cover crops, small grains and forage. Its mission is to partner with dealers and customers to provide the highest quality organic seed genetics available. For more information, visit


In 2005, Blue River Organic Seed was established by a few individuals with a common vision. They wanted to give organic farmers an opportunity to stay true to their organic farming practices and principles without having to sacrifice performance. Blue River’s singular mission is to provide high quality seed and exceptional genetics specifically for organic farming environments across the nation. To learn more, visit


Farmers Business Network® (FBN®) is an independent ag tech platform and farmer-to-farmer network with a mission to power the prosperity of family farmers around the world while working towards a sustainable future. Its Farmers First® promise has attracted over 43,000 members to the network with a common goal of helping farmers maximize their farm’s profit potential with data and technology enabled direct-to farmer commerce, community and sustainability offerings. FBN has set out to redefine value and convenience for farmers by helping reduce the cost of production and maximize the value of their crops. The FBN® network has grown to cover more than 98 million acres of member farms in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Blending the best of Midwestern agricultural roots and Silicon Valley technology, the company has over 900 personnel and principal offices in San Carlos, California; Chicago, Illinois; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; a Canadian Headquarters in High River, Alberta; and an Australian Headquarters in Perth—with significant warehouse and logistics, remote and field employees across the U.S., Canada and Australia.

The Organic Grower


Blue River Organic Seed has always made supplying organic seed its primary focus, as it is the core of our business. Even included in our name is a reflection and promise of this. However, supplying organic seed is only half of the equation. Our products must also bring value to our customers. Value can be in the form of extra yield potential or a special characteristic that meets a specific need. An example of this is found in one of our flagship products, PuraMaize. As GMO testing of grain becomes more routine due to customer demand, PuraMaize will show its true value to you, our customers. The time is near, and we are ready with new product releases for 2019 and beyond.

The Organic Grower


Blue River is excited to kick off a new season. We are happy to announce the return of customer discounts that offer great savings potential, especially in the month of September.  In addition to our returning products, we have added several new corn, soybean, alfalfa and sorghum varieties to complete our 2016-2017 lineup. We are excited about our new products which have undergone extensive testing and were chosen for their outstanding performance in organic farming systems, with emphasis on strong yield potential. We will have good availability in all maturities, including late season corn.

The Organic Sower


Organic farmers have significantly increased their use of sorghum sudangrass products in recent years.  This growth has been the result of several factors. - BMR sorghum sudangrass products have better digestibility and agronomics than older products - Seed costs per acre are often less than corn seed raised for silage  - BMR sorghum sudangrass products are often more drought tolerant - Because of later planting and rapid growth - BMR sorghum sudangrass products offer the grower more options and flexibility

In normal growing situations, the brown color of the mid-rib, often more pronounced when the plants are younger, allows the grower to identify the BMR products. The brown mid-rib is correlated with a reduced level of lignin in the stalks and plants.

Cattle, eMerge, PuraMaize, Sudangrass

The Organic Sower


Consumer demand has fueled significant growth in the organic industry, creating a real need for high quality organic seed. Without this seed, the industry will face challenges.  As a farmer, you don’t just want an organic variety - you also want a product that performs like its conventional counterparts with strong agronomics and high yield potential. What makes Blue River Hybrids unique is our dedication to you – the organic farmer – and our unrelenting focus on bringing new products to market that perform reliably in organic environments.  

Bringing Innovation to Organics - Blue River Hybrids strives to deliver the best, most advanced organic seed products on the market to meet the needs of our customers. Only the best products make it through our pipeline. We introduce products that offer strong yield potential, agronomic stability as well as perform on a wide range of organic environments.  

Tested Locally Throughout the U.S. - To ensure products will perform for our customers no matter your location, Blue River tests its products locally throughout the U.S. This year, we’ve expanded our corn testing to include more locations in the eastern corn belt, northern and southern U.S.  We enhanced forage testing in the eastern area as well as additional soybean testing locations in Group 3 and Group 4 maturity areas.

New Products for 2016 - Blue River is offering a wide variety of new products for the 2015-2016 season. When adding a new product to our pipeline, we evaluate it based on yield potential as well as disease resistance, standability and plant stature, among other characteristics. These products have undergone significant testing to ensure they'll perform in a wide variety of organic systems.

Advice, Customer Spotlight, Products, PuraMaize