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S&W Seed Company to conduct alfalfa hay trials in Chinaqrcode

Jul. 9, 2013

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Jul. 9, 2013

S&W Seed Company to conduct alfalfa hay trials in China

S&W Seed Company recently announced the planned initiation of alfalfa hay trials for five dormant alfalfa varieties in the People's Republic of China (PRC). The PRC trials are part of S&W's continuing effort to expand the worldwide markets for its proprietary alfalfa seed varieties. The alfalfa hay trials will be conducted at four different sites in the PRC, using varieties recently acquired and internally developed by S&W. The trials are scheduled to commence in the next few weeks, subject to receipt of any necessary regulatory approvals. The purpose of the PRC trials is to evaluate the capabilities of selected S&W dormant varieties, with respect to factors including forage quality, yield and persistence, in certain important growing environments in the PRC.

Alfalfa seed is ranked by dormancy, and dormant varieties are suited to cooler climates such as the northern United States, Canada, Europe and the northern regions of the People's Republic of China. Although S&W has historically been a provider of "non-dormant" varieties produced in warmer climates, the Company has recently sought to create a presence in the "dormant" alfalfa seed marketplace. The majority of alfalfa hay in the PRC is grown in the northern regions of the country, where dormant varieties (dormancy ranges of 0 through 4) are most suitable. The S&W varieties being trialed are Trophy, SW4328, Rhino, M777, and Runner, all varieties that have dormancy ratings from 2 through 4. The Company believes its dormant varieties will perform well in the forage growing areas of the PRC that have been initially targeted by the Company and its local advisors, and expect full results within the next twelve months.

The PRC is generally considered to be the world's largest undeveloped market for dairy products, due to the large population base that is underserved by domestic dairies. Historically, however, the quality and yield capabilities of alfalfa grown in the PRC have not matched those of alfalfa grown in the US, the EU and other parts of the world where dairy industries are more developed. As dairy operations in the PRC seek to improve both the quality and quantity of milk production, the Company believes that PRC dairies will increasingly demand high quality alfalfa, produced domestically.

Mark Grewal, president and chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company, commented, "We see big opportunities for our dormant varieties in the People's Republic of China. The PRC has recently expanded the importation of alfalfa hay to feed their livestock due to insufficient domestic supplies, the lower quality of alfalfa within the country and a lack of substitute forage alternatives. If our initial alfalfa hay trials validate quality, yield and persistence goals for our varieties in the PRC, we will be well positioned to participate in a large and growing market."

Mr. Grewal concluded, "We are also in the process of leveraging our relationships to establish a distribution platform within the PRC. We believe an integrated approach in this important market will be necessary. We are working hard to develop relationships with key leaders in the industry to successfully bring the S&W alfalfa varieties to the farming community of the PRC."

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