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S&W Seed Announces Agreement with Monsanto and Forage Genetics

S&W Seed Announces Agreement with Monsanto and Forage Genetics

 

S&W Licensed To Produce and Sell Alfalfa Varieties With Traits Developed By Monsanto and FGI

FIVE POINTS, Calif., Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- S&W Seed Company (Nasdaq: SANW) today announced that it has signed agreements with Monsanto and Forage Genetics International, LLC. (FGI) that enables the company to produce and sell seed of approved varieties containing Monsanto's Roundup Ready® trait. FGI has also agreed to incorporate the Roundup Ready® trait into specific S&W-developed varieties previously selected for high yield and salt tolerance.

Using classical plant breeding methods, S&W has worked hard for 30 years to become a leader in developing high yielding, non-dormant, salt tolerant varieties of alfalfa. Adoption of biotechnology has been slower to occur in Europe and other areas compared to the United States, and most of S&W's existing export customers require verification that alfalfa seed does not have biotech traits. Demand for S&W's proprietary non-biotech varieties continues to grow at a strong pace in warm climate zones where non-dormant alfalfa is the market standard. Accordingly, non-biotech varieties of alfalfa seed will continue to be a primary focus for S&W in international markets where biotech varieties have not been approved. S&W will also continue to ensure its classically bred varieties are grown under strict guidelines requiring isolation and quality control in processing.

In order to meet the needs of its many domestic customers that want Roundup Ready® alfalfa, S&W has been working in collaboration with FGI to pursue the development of S&W varieties that incorporate Monsanto and FGI's advanced traits, such as the Roundup Ready® trait, into S&W's own seed varieties. Any biotech varieties ultimately produced by S&W will be targeted for sale to the U.S. domestic customers, at least initially.

Mark Grewal, chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company commented, "We are pleased and honored that Monsanto and Forage Genetics chose S&W as a business partner in the alfalfa seed market. FGI and Monsanto are the undisputed world leaders in pioneering biotech research for alfalfa. We have always taken pride in our classically bred, high yielding, non-dormant, salt tolerant varieties. New S&W varieties that fill the demand for Roundup Ready® technology can only expand our market within the United States. We look forward to completing the lab and field work necessary to have an S&W seed variety ready for the biotech market. In addition to the ability to sell the newly developed alfalfa seed varieties, S&W hopes to access future alfalfa seed technology developed by FGI and Monsanto under future licensing agreements."

"We are pleased S&W will introduce our Roundup Ready® technology into some of their upcoming product offerings," Stephen Welker, Alfalfa Lead, Monsanto, commented. "Roundup Ready® technology will provide the ability to produce higher quality and higher yielding crops that are largely free of weeds and other plants that compete for nutrients from the soil. S&W has a reputation for developing alfalfa seed varieties with a strong performance, including some of the most salt-tolerant varieties available."

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 Seed also offers seed cleaning and processing at its 40-acre facility in Five Points, California and, in 2011, began the commercial launch of its California-based stevia business in response to the 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 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, 2012, and other filings made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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