Seed Dealer Contact Information

Albert Lea Seed House
1414 West Main
PO Box 127
Albert Lea, MN 56007
800-352-5247
www.alseed.com


Seed Sources

Obtaining Seed for Specialty Crops

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One of the challenges in working with many new or alternative crops is finding sources of seed. With a few exceptions, most of these crops are not easily available from local seed dealers and must be ordered from regional or national distributors. In some cases, there may be only one regular distributor of bulk seed for a specialty crop. When ordering larger quantities of seed from out-of-state, shipping can become a considerable expense, making it important to plan in advance so lower cost (and slower) shipping methods can be used.

In general, seed dealers are either distributors of “bulk” seed for multi-acre plantings or garden seed distributors. There are some seed dealers, such as Johnny’s Selected Seed and Peaceful Valley Farm Supply, that sell to both audiences and thus have seed in a range of quantities. This guide provides listings of seed distributors of both bulk and garden-sized seed packages.

For less common crops, there may be only one readily available variety, or all seed of that crop may be generic or “common” seed, which is the case for many cover crops or seed sold for wildlife plantings. Where named varieties are available, however, it often pays to research which ones will perform best in your area. Variety tests conducted by the Jefferson Institute and university partners have shown that some varieties can get to twice the yield of other varieties, making a huge difference in their potential profitability. In some cases, certain varieties may be faster maturing, which can help fit the crop into a double crop system.

The ten alternative grains, oilseeds and legume crops listed in this guide are ones that have been determined by the Jefferson Institute to be economically viable alternatives for at least some Midwestern locations. Over 60 alternative crops were field-evaluated before identifying these ten. However, farmers are encouraged to consider other alternative crop enterprises, including fruits, vegetables, native plants, forage and grass seed crops, and agroforestry crops.

The Jefferson Institute staff have fielded a number of calls about wildlife seed and cover crops, so listings of seed sources for these crops are included. Some of the wildlife seed companies have websites with lists of recommended plants for wildlife. For cover crop use, a number of options are available, including buckwheat, rapeseed (canola), rye, oats and several legumes such as red clover, crimson clover, sweet clover, hairy vetch and Austrian winter peas. Remember to obtain innoculum to mix with legume seeds to enable them to form root nodules that can fix nitrogen for the plants.

Seed costs obviously vary by dealer and season. Be sure to inquire about the germination percentage of the seed (in most cases it should be 85% or above). Most alternative crop seed is not coated with fungicide, but a dealer may be able to provide coated or uncoated seed. Some dealers will have both organic and conventionally-grown seed. Finally, remember to order seed in advance of the growing season because sometimes supplies will be used up or sold out early in the season.

NOTE: This directory is not intended by the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute to be an endorsement of any company, nor is it an exhaustive list of all seed dealers supplying these crops.

Amaranth (plant 2 lbs/acre)
Bulk Quantity Sources Garden Quantity Sources
Albert Lea Seed House
Nu-World Amaranth
Sanders Farm




Johnny's Selected Seeds
Albert Lea Seed House
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Seeds of Change (ornamental varieties)
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply (grain & ornamental varieties)

 
Buckwheat (plant 55 lbs/acre)
Bulk Quantity Sources Garden Quantity Sources
named varities from:
Minn-Dak Growers, Ltd.
(for contract growers or research only)
Albert Lea Seed House

"common" buckwheat from:

Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
Missouri Southern Seeds
MFA, Inc.
Pennington Seed
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
 
Canola (plant 6 lbs/acre)
Bulk Quantity Sources Garden Quantity Sources
Kansas Foundation Seeds
Peacefull Valley Farm Supply
Pennington Seed
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
 
Cowpea*(plant 50 lbs/acre; higher for forage types)
Bulk Quantity Sources Garden Quantity Sources
Missouri Southern Seeds
(forage variety)

Pennington Seed
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
Vermont Bean Seed Company
   
Dry Edible Beans* (plant 50-100 lbs/acre, depending on seed size)
Bulk Quantity Sources Garden Quantity Sources

For bulk sources, contact:
University of Idaho Foundation Seed Program

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
Seeds of Change
Vermont Bean Seed Company
 
Flax (plant 50 lbs/acre)
Bulk Quantity Sources Garden Quantity Sources

Albert Lea Seed House
Reimers Seed Farm
Pennington Seed

Albert Lea Seed House
Johnny's Selected Seeds
   
Mungbeans* (plant 15-20 lbs/acre)
Bulk Quantity Sources Garden Quantity Sources
Eckroat Seed Company
Pennington Seed
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Vermont Bean Seed Company
   
Pearl Millet (plant 4 lbs/acre)
Bulk Quantity Sources Garden Quantity Sources

Albert Lea Seed House (forage variety)
Crosbyton Seed (grain hybrid)
Missouri Southern Seeds (forage variety)

Johnny's Selected Seeds
(ornamental grain hybrid)
   
Sesame (plant 2 lbs/acre)
Bulk Quantity Sources Garden Quantity Sources

Sesaco Corporation (for contract growers or research only)
Pennington Seed

Seeds of Change


   
Oilseed Sunflower (plant 3-4 lbs/acre)
Bulk Quantity Sources Garden Quantity Sources
Croplan Genetics
Missouri Southern Seeds (seed for wildlife food plots)
Monsanto Company
Mycogen Seeds
Pennington Seed
Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
Triumph Seed Company

Johnny's Selected Seeds (ornamental, pollenless varieties)
Seeds of Change (ornamental varieties)
Vesey's Seeds Ltd (ornamental, pollenless varieties)





   
Edamame Soybeans*
Bulk Quantity Sources Garden Quantity Sources
Rupp Seeds


Johnny's Selected Seeds
Territorial Seed Company
   
Cover Crops
Common Midwest Cover Crops Cover Crop Seed Sources
Legumes*:
Austrian Winter Peas, Cowpeas, Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch, Red Clover, Sweetdove

Grasses*:
Foxtail Millet, Oats, Rye

Other*:
Buckwheat, Rapeseed
Johnny's Selected Seeds
MFA, Inc.
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
Pennington Seed
Seeds of Change
Siemer Enterprises




   
Wildlife Seed
Food Plot Seed Sources  
Missouri Southern Seeds
Pennington Seed
Seedland, Inc.
Siemer Enterprises
Southern States Cooperative
 
   
*Legume seed should be innoculated. Specialty innoculum can be purchased through Johnny's Selected Seeds and Peaceful Valley Farm Supply, or check with your seed dealer to obtain commercial quantities.


 

 

Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute 2007