THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ceres, Inc. (Nasdaq: CERE), an agricultural biotechnology company, today announced that the company has received approval to initiate field testing of its biotech sugarcane in Brazil, the world's largest producer of sugarcane.
The company plans to test its biomass and sugar yield and stress tolerance traits in several commercial sugarcane cultivars adapted to Brazil's major production areas. The field evaluations, which were approved by Brazil's Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, are expected to begin in the next six weeks. Field evaluations represent a critical stage in the development of biotech crop traits, as they provide greater insight into how traits may perform in future products in an agricultural setting.
"We believe we have a significant opportunity to bring innovative technology to the sugarcane market, with immediate opportunities to increase sugar yields and preserve the yields in the kind of drought conditions that have been prevailing in Brazil in recent years," said Ceres President and CEO Richard Hamilton. He noted that a sugarcane variety with Ceres traits could significantly change production dynamics and economics by increasing sugar and biomass yields while providing additional harvests during the typical five-year lifecycle of a sugarcane stand.
In similar field evaluations performed last year outside of Brazil, Ceres' yield traits increased biomass yields in elite tropical sugarcane varieties. Plants with one of the company's drought tolerance traits resisted the effects of drought and maintained biomass yields with as little as half the water normally required during production. These results were especially impactful because the tests were completed in elite varieties that are already known for their high yields and performance. Favorable results from a research setting are not a guarantee of future commercial performance, and further evaluations will be necessary.
The company expects to have key results from field evaluations outside of Brazil in the next three months. Results from Brazil are expected next year.
Sugarcane is a global crop with over 65 million acres annually harvested worldwide, including approximately 25 million acres in Brazil.
Ceres, Inc. is an agricultural biotechnology company that develops and markets seeds and traits to produce crops for animal feed, sugar and other markets. The company's advanced plant breeding and biotechnology technology platforms, which can increase crop productivity, improve quality, reduce crop inputs and improve cultivation on marginal land, have broad application across multiple crops, including food, feed, fiber and fuel crops. Ceres markets its seed products under its Blade brand. The company also licenses its biotech traits and technology to other life science companies and organizations.
Ceres Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, including statements regarding Ceres' efforts to develop and commercialize its products and technologies, anticipated yields and product performance, status of crop plantings, short-term and long-term business strategies, market and industry expectations, future operating metrics, and future results of operations and financial position, including anticipated cost savings from the company's restructuring plan and projected cash expenditures, are forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond Ceres' control. Factors that could materially affect actual results can be found in Ceres' filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Ceres undertakes no obligation to update publicly, except to the extent required by law, any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date the company issues this press release to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in the company's expectations.
SOURCE Ceres, Inc.