S&W Seed Company (Nasdaq: SANW) today announced it has secured approximately 1,000 acres of contracted seed production in Australia to be dedicated to the company’s elite S&W varieties which have historically been grown only in California. This initial planting in Australia is part of the company’s strategy to expand and diversify its seed production base in the country and to benefit from a number of favorable economic factors inherent in Australian-based production. These 1,000 initial acres will finalize their planting in the coming weeks and harvested during the company’s annual March/April 2015 harvest.
Mark Grewal, president and chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company, commented, “The demand for S&W’s most sought after alfalfa seed varieties, which includes the world’s most salt tolerant varieties, continues to grow. Our strategy is to expand production of these varieties outside of California’s San Joaquin Valley, thereby lowering our costs at the same time we increase supply. Securing these 1,000 acres with our Australian grower base is confirmation that we are off to a strong start in executing on our strategy.”
Mr. Grewal continued, “Over the past year, we have been actively trialing new production areas for what we refer to as our ‘elite varieties,’ namely our best and most in demand S&W branded varieties from our thirty year breeding program. In Australia, we’ve met with many dedicated alfalfa seed growers to convince them of the profit potential in growing our S&W elite varieties. We were successful in securing seed acres both in SGI’s prime growing region of South Australia, and in another, relatively new seed growing region of Australia. The recruitment of new growers in Southern New South Wales/Northern Victoria should help to expand our capability to produce S&W elite varieties, as well as SGI varieties. We are actively looking for further opportunities to expand seed production in Australia.”
The Southern portion of Australia is one of the limited number of world regions suitable for large scale production of non-dormant alfalfa seed varieties. The region has a high temperature growing season with minimal precipitation during harvest, access to irrigation water, and an abundance of bees and other pollinators, both domestic and wild. These climatic conditions are excellent for farming alfalfa seed. S&W recently acquired Australian-based Seed Genetics International (“SGI”), the largest producer of alfalfa seed in the country, to further diversify and expand its production capabilities in Australia. With approximately a 50% share of the Australian acreage under contract, S&W believes it has a good opportunity to expand production of its most elite varieties to meet global demand in coming years.
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.