S&W Seed Company announces agreement with Monsanto and Forage Genetics
S&W licensed to produce and sell alfalfa varieties with Roundup Ready® developed by Monsanto and FGI
S&W Seed Company (Nasdaq: SANW) announced that it has signed agreements with Monsanto and Forage Genetics International, LLC. (FGI). FGI has agreed to incorporate the Roundup Ready® trait into specific S&W-developed varieties previously selected for high yield and salt tolerance.
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 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 fieldwork necessary to have an S&W seed variety ready for the biotech market in 2014. 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."
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. 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’s recent acquisition of Imperial Valley Seeds will ensure there are sufficient production areas to allow the traditionally bred varieties to be grown under strict guidelines requiring isolation and quality control in processing.
"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."