Ceres, Inc., an agricultural biotechnology company, announced today that the company has entered into a multi-year collaboration with Forage Genetics International to develop and commercialize improved alfalfa, a forage crop grown throughout the world for livestock feed.       

Under the collaboration, Forage Genetics International (FGI), a leading developer, producer and marketer of alfalfa breeding lines and traits, and Ceres will work together to evaluate and commercialize Ceres’ traits in FGI’s alfalfa varieties. The company said that FGI expects to begin evaluating alfalfa varieties with Ceres’ traits by next year. Results from these trials will determine commercialization timelines.

Ceres President and CEO Richard Hamilton said that the agreement with FGI has been a key element of the company’s strategic move into forages. “This collaboration provides a new outlet for our traits and we are pleased to be working with such a well-established partner,” said Hamilton. “We believe our historical focus on improving biomass yields and quality can provide substantial advantages for this large and growing market.”

There are approximately 75 million acres of alfalfa harvested worldwide each year. Globally, rising prosperity growth has led to increased dairy and meat consumption. As a result, demand for forage, feed and hay crops to feed meat and dairy cattle is expected to continue to increase.