FIVE POINTS, Calif., June 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- S&W Seed Company (Nasdaq: SANW) today announced the first shipments of dormant alfalfa seed varieties to the People's Republic of China (PRC). This is especially important for S&W, since it is both the Company's first shipment to the PRC, and also the first commercial export of its dormant alfalfa seed. The PRC is a new and potentially large market, representing a multi-million dollar opportunity for S&W Seed Company in coming years.
Mark Grewal, president and chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company, commented, "We are extremely pleased by this eventful day in the company's history. For the last 30 years, S&W Seed Company has focused on the 'non-dormant' alfalfa seed market, comprised of warmer areas where alfalfa hay cuttings are done on a near year-round basis. This shipment into China marks the first time that we offer our 'dormant' alfalfa seed product on a commercial scale, providing the company with a significant growth opportunity."
Last year, S&W announced the initiation of alfalfa hay trials for five of its dormant alfalfa seed varieties in the PRC at four different locations. The purpose of the trials was to evaluate the capabilities of the various S&W dormant varieties, with respect to factors including forage quality, yield and persistence, in certain important growing environments in China. The trials, while essentially an ongoing process, have to date, shown strong results.
The PRC is one of the world's fastest growing markets for dairy products. As the world's most populous nation, with more than 1.3 billion people, the PRC is underserved by its domestic dairies. As the dairy industry continues to grow in China, the nation's ability to meet the nutritional needs of the expanding dairy herd has been hampered due to lower quality and lower yielding alfalfa varieties traditionally grown in the country. Hay exports from the U.S. and other countries to China have hit record levels to meet these shortfalls in feeding the PRC's growing herd of dairy cows. Recent reports suggest a nearly eightfold increase of alfalfa hay being exported to China since 2009.
Mr. Grewal added, "Chinese demand for alfalfa hay has grown significantly over the last few years. The country's farmers are looking for varieties to grow that can maximize the available resources, including diminishing arable land and water. S&W's naturally-bred, dormant varieties are some of the highest yielding varieties in the world. We believe that China has the opportunity to be a significant customer for our unique dormant varieties for years to come and we are excited about this initial sale into the market."
About S&W Seed Company Founded in 1980, S&W Seed Company is a global agricultural company, headquartered in the Central Valley of California. The company is the largest producer of non-dormant alfalfa seed varieties in the world, with production operations in the San Joaquin and Imperial Valley's of California, as well as in South Australia. The company has worldwide sales and distribution through both a direct sales force as well as dealer-distributors. The company's proprietary varieties are designed to meet the shifting needs of farmers that require high performance in poor and highly saline soil conditions and have been verified over decades of university-sponsored trials. Additionally, the company is utilizing its research and breeding expertise to develop and produce U.S.-based stevia leaf. Stevia is an all-natural, zero calorie sweetener for the food and beverage industry. For more information, please visit www.swseedco.com.
Safe Harbor Statement This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. "Forward-looking statements" describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as "may," "future," "plan" or "planned," "will" or "should," "expected," "anticipates," "draft," "eventually" or "projected." You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and other risks identified in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013, and in other filings made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE S&W Seed Company