The California-based S&W Seed Company is licensing for production, marketing and distribution of two sunflower seed varieties in the Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan.  The unnamed 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.

This agreement is the result of  S&W's recent acquisition of SV Genetics (SVG), it was noted. SVG has licensing agreements with different partners to provide its grain sorghum, forage sorghum and sunflower genetics throughout the world, including Australia, parts of South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Pakistan and South Africa.

Russia and the Ukraine are the two largest sunflower markets, representing nearly 60 percent of the global sunflower production. "The two licensed sunflower 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, highlighting what S&W believes is a prime example of the complimentary fit of the recent SV Genetics (SVG) acquisition by S&W," the announcement explained.

Mark Grewal, president and chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company, said the licensee chose to work with S&W because of the two sunflower seed varieties. "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."