Many years are needed to create, test and build a market for seed products, and we have used the past 30 years to breed and build awareness of the seed varieties we market and sell. Accordingly, we believe we enjoy high barriers to entry because of the length of time required to develop competitive alfalfa seed varieties (typically 5 years). The plant breeders at S&W Seed Company have ensured that our seeds are disease and pest resistant to the most common challenges plaguing alfalfa, as well as producing high yields. With the population expanding and arable land decreasing, the market for certified high yielding alfalfa seed varieties is poised for growth. S&W Seed Company offers investment opportunities to capture this market.
According to this May 2015 article: “The 2013-2015 California drought has brought much public attention to the amount of water used in agriculture, and particularly which crops use the most water. Contrary to some popular views, alfalfa has a range of positive biological characteristics that should be quite useful when facing water-short conditions. These characteristics include a high degree of flexibility to ‘deficit irrigate’ the crop, ability to survive drought periods, high water-use efficiency, deep rootedness, salinity tolerance, and the ability to utilize degraded water. It is additionally very valuable to wildlife, which also suffers during a drought. Oh, and by the way, it is also very valuable to the millions of consumers who depend upon the milk, cheese, yogurt, and yes ice cream, produced from alfalfa.”
The November 2013 issue of Hay & Forage Grower, distributed November 10, 2013, included an article titled “Weather Tightens Alfalfa Seed Supply” which discusses weather issues that have impacted seed production and inventory levels in the non-dormant alfalfa seed market, possibly resulting in a below normal supply of alfalfa seed in 2014. The article was based on interviews of industry executives from several alfalfa seed companies, including S&W Seed Company.
2014 Annual Report