FRESNO, Calif., Aug. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- S&W Seed Company (Nasdaq: SANW) today announced the Company has signed a licensing agreement with a leading U.S.-based seed company for production and marketing of a proprietary hybrid grain sorghum variety in the United States as well as Mexico. The United States is one of the largest sorghum markets in the world with an estimated 597 million bushels harvested from approximately 7 to 8 million acres in 2015. This is the first U.S.-based licensing agreement by S&W for any of its sorghum varieties, positioning it to benefit in a crop that is gaining increasing popularity in food products due to its gluten-free characteristics, as well as its antioxidant, high protein, low fat, high fiber and non-GM properties.
"Sorghum is gaining increasing importance throughout the world due to its efficiency as a high-energy, drought tolerant crop that is environmentally friendly, and has favorable consumer attributes," said Mark Grewal, CEO of S&W Seed Company. "We believe our hybrid grain sorghum varieties are some of the highest yielding in the world, and incorporate other important traits such as disease resistance and drought tolerance. This agreement allows us entry into a growing U.S. sorghum market with a producer that has tremendous capabilities to expand production and drive distribution. We look forward to a long-term and successful relationship with this new licensee."
2015 sorghum food consumption increased by nearly 40 percent compared to 2014. More than 350 products on grocery store shelves contain sorghum, and mainstream brands are adding sorghum to new product formulations every year. U.S. sorghum is traditionally grown throughout the Sorghum Belt, which runs from South Dakota to Southern Texas, primarily on dryland acres. Recently, acreage increases have been seen in non-traditional areas like the Mississippi Delta and Southeast regions. The top five sorghum-producing states in 2015 were Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado. The company estimates the U.S. sorghum seed market at between 25 and 30 million pounds of planting seed, worth an estimated $100 million annually.
In addition to this new agreement in the United States, S&W has licensing agreements with different partners to provide its grain sorghum and forage sorghum genetics throughout the world, including Australia, parts of South America, South Africa, China, Pakistan and South Africa.
Recent Executive Interview
The management team of S&W Seed Company and S&W's subsidiary, SV Genetics, recently conducted an executive series interview discussing S&W's recent acquisition of SV Genetics, and its outlook for the sorghum and sunflower industry. A transcript of the interview can be found on the company's website at http://swseedco.com/assets/SVGInterview.pdf.
About S&W Seed Company
Founded in 1980, S&W Seed Company is a global agricultural company, headquartered in Fresno, California. The Company's vision is to be the world's preferred proprietary seed company by supplying a range of forage and specialty crop products to support the growing global demand for animal proteins and healthier consumer diets. The Company is the global leader in alfalfa seed, with unrivaled research and development, production and distribution capabilities. S&W's capabilities span the world's alfalfa seed production regions, with operations in the United States, Australia, and Canada, and S&W sells its seed products in more than 30 countries around the globe. The company is also a provider of proprietary hybrid sorghum and sunflower seed germplasm, and is utilizing its research and breeding expertise to develop and produce stevia, the 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." Forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding S&W's new license agreement, the anticipated benefits of the agreement, including the producer's expected capabilities, and the growth of the U.S. sorghum market. 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 our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015, and in other filings subsequently made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of the receipt of new information, the occurrence of future events or otherwise.
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SOURCE S&W Seed Company