S&W Seed Starts Alfalfa Seed Harvest
FIVE POINTS, Calif., Aug. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — S&W Seed Company (Nasdaq: SANW) today announced that it is harvesting alfalfa seed on 350 acres of leased farmland in the Imperial Valley of California, the first of the company’s more than 4,600 acres of farmland dedicated to production of S&W proprietary alfalfa varieties in 2012.
Due primarily to weather factors in the United States and Australia, S&W believes that non dormant alfalfa seed will be in shorter than normal supply in the world market. Last year, severe weather conditions had a massive negative impact on Australian seed production and this year there were major insect pressures that again reduced yields to below normal levels. In addition, parts of the Imperial Valley experienced an unseasonal rain in the first week of August that came at a very undesirable time and may have significantly damaged seed production in some areas. Against this backdrop of tighter than normal supply, S&W has also seen increased demand for its proprietary varieties among both existing and prospective customers. S&W attributes this demand to a greater awareness of the superior yield and salt tolerant characteristics of S&W’s alfalfa varieties.
Mark Grewal, chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company, commented, “We are excited to begin our alfalfa seed harvest in what appears at this point to be an above average year for our producing areas. We continue to see favorable market dynamics that I think will allow for increases in our selling price this fall and winter, and we have already informed our major customers that our most in demand varieties are likely to be on allocation. Over a year ago we made what proved to be the right decisions to expand seed production and heighten our overseas marketing presence. Our plan worked, so much so that this Fall we will be making a concerted effort to increase acreage even more for 2013 production. “
The company secured 4,664 acres of land dedicated to the production of its proprietary alfalfa seed for the fall of 2012, which represents an approximate 95% increase from the 2,400 acres harvested in the fall of 2011. The company also recently entered into an agreement to acquire and lease a total of 1,880 acres of farmland in Calipatria, California, with production anticipated in the fall of 2013.
“While we are early in the harvest process, we are optimistic that our San Joaquin production will be at average or better yields. Fortunately, the severe drought like weather conditions that have engulfed much of the United States have not had a meaningful impact on our cropping areas. We look forward to another season in which we have the chance to improve our share of the non-dormant, alfalfa seed market,” concluded Mr. Grewal.
About S&W Seed Company
Founded in 1980 and headquartered in the Central Valley of California, S&W Seed Company is a leading producer of warm climate, high yield alfalfa seed varieties, including varieties that can thrive in poor, saline soils, as verified over decades of university-sponsored trials. S&W also offers seed cleaning and processing at its 40-acre facility in Five Points, California and has recently launched a business expansion initiative centered on its plan to mass produce stevia leaf in the U.S. in response to growing global demand for the all-natural, zero calorie sweetener from 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, including statements regarding the potential success of the Company’s stevia program, 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 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, and other filings made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Contact: Robert Blum, Joe Dorame, Joe Diaz Matt Szot Lytham Partners, LLC Chief Financial Officer 602-889-9700 S&W Seed Company firstname.lastname@example.org 559-884-2535 www.lythampartners.com www.swseedco.com
SOURCE S&W Seed Company