S&W expands into commercial hybrid sunflower production

S&W Seed Company has commenced commercial seed production for one of its proprietary hybrid sunflower seed varieties in New South Wales, Australia.

This marks the company’s initial entry into the “vertical production model” for sunflower, a nearly $1 billion global crop. It anticipates that the transition into sunflower seed production will allow it to capture a higher gross profit dollar and move closer to the end customer. The move continues the company’s recent strategic initiatives to expand vertically by leveraging the company’s key distribution and production capabilities.

S&W acquired the operations of SV Genetics’ (“SVG”) sunflower program in May 2016 with the goal of advancing deployment of the proprietary germplasm that exhibits high yield, high oil, disease resistance, and outstanding standability, on a global basis. The company has royalty-based sunflower licensing agreements with five partners in six countries that are currently increasing production, and commencing commercial-scale production of the hybrid sunflower operations is the first step in the company embarking on its dual strategy to further expand the company’s opportunity within sunflower.

The vertical entry into a production-based model for hybrid sunflower follows S&W’s recent vertical entry into the production of hybrid sorghum, and aligns its operations more closely with its existing alfalfa seed operations where the company is currently one of the largest producers worldwide.

The company is initially producing the hybrid sunflower seed in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area of NSW, with initial end customer markets of Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Pakistan through distribution partners under both branded and private label programs. The variety being produced, SW-S6066, is a medium, late maturity sunflower that has historically performed extremely well in various regions of the world.


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