California seed company to market sunflowers in Ukraine, Russia

California seed company to market sunflowers in Ukraine, Russia

Russia and Ukraine are two largest sunflower markets

S&W Seed Company, headquartered in Fresno, California, has signed a new license agreement for production and marketing of two sunflower varieties for the Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan with a seed company with significant distribution throughout the region. The licensee has commenced commercial scale seed production activity in the Ukraine, and S&W's sunflower hybrids will be introduced into the market place for the 2017 production season.

Related: California alfalfa seed company acquires sorghum, sunflower seed company

Global sunflower seed production in 2016-17 is projected at 41.2 million tons, up 5% from the current season. (Photo: Shunsuke Yamamoto Photography/Thinkstock)

Russia and the Ukraine are the two largest sunflower markets, representing nearly 60% of the global sunflower production. This agreement highlights the first commercial activity that S&W's recent acquisition of SV Genetics has had in these lucrative markets. The two licensed varieties are traditional polyunsaturated oil types, however the licensee is also evaluating high oleic types, and a variety resistant to Imidazilone herbicide. Additionally, the licensee is expected to evaluate S&W's alfalfa seed products in 2017.

Mark Grewal, president and chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company, commented, "We are extremely pleased with the addition of this new licensee to the portfolio of seed companies that are working to expand the production and distribution of our newly acquired sunflower seed varieties across the world. The Ukraine and Russia are the two largest sunflower markets in the world, and this licensee chose to move forward with our varieties due to the diversity and strength of these two varieties, and also the SV Genetics breeding program as a whole. We look forward to working with this new seed company on a go forward basis to expand our sunflower operations, and potentially our alfalfa operations as well."

Global sunflower seed production in 2016-17 is projected at 41.2 million tons, up 5% from the current season and above the recent 10-year average. The sunflower seed oil trade is forecast to rise, supported by very strong demand in India, the EU, North Africa,and the Middle East.

Source: S&W Seed Company

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