Mar. 30, 2016
Agronomy and agricultural breeding are going to be two areas of expertise that will be much needed as the world population grows. You see the study of agronomics in most universities in Latin America because governments and organizations are looking to make the most of their available lands. Many of these governments, especially in Argentina, grow alfalfa. The benefits of growing alfalfa are numerous:
it is very resistant to drought conditions
- it will yield high-quality forage for cows
- 100% of the plant material is used.
- S & W Seed Company (SANW) has known this for 35 years and become experts at producing high-quality alfalfa and stevia, a new all-natural sugar alternative.
S&W’s dormant alfalfa strains are very popular with farmers because they have high yield, resist drought, nematode resistant (a common parasite that can affect crops), and are of overall high-quality.
In addition, S & W is teaming up with biotech companies to further improve its alfalfa strains. In the company’s most recent earnings report, they estimated revenues to total at $95 million for the year and for the most recent quarter revenues increased 75%, to $24.1 million up from $13.8 million a year ago (cited from here). After the company’s acquisition of Dupont Pioneer assets in December 2014, S&W’s product portfolio became like no other, but their management team also solidified.
S&W already produces around 17-20% of worldwide production of alfalfa seeds, but it is their research and development department that offers interesting opportunities. S &W are working on biotechnology varieties that are modified for salt tolerance or already contain Monsanto’s Roundup Ready® (seeds resistant to the herbicide Roundup).
S & W have a dream to grow alfalfa and deliver it well beyond the corn belt of the United States, and the company continues to grow, acquire useful acreage and increase scientific testing to betters its process -- all of which makes it a very interesting company to watch.