THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Energy crop company Ceres, Inc. (Nasdaq: CERE) today announced that its Brazilian subsidiary Ceres Sementes do Brasil Ltda., has signed a sweet sorghum market development agreement with Syngenta (NYSE: SYT). The companies will work together to support the introduction of sweet sorghum as a source of fermentable sugars at Brazil's 400 or more ethanol mills.
Sweet sorghum is a hardy crop that can extend the ethanol production season by up to 60 days in Brazil. It can be grown on fallow sugarcane land and processed using the same equipment. Since it grows in just 90 to 120 days, it requires less water and other inputs than sugarcane. Last season, Brazilian mills planted Ceres sweet sorghum on more than 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) about the size of nine New York City Central Parks. Due in part to increased demand for ethanol and sugarcane shortages, Brazil's government recently announced in its annual agricultural plan for 2012-2013 that sweet sorghum would be considered a strategic crop.
Under the agreement, Syngenta and Ceres intend to collaborate on small-scale trials as well as larger demonstration-scale field evaluations with mills this season. Syngenta will provide its considerable agronomy resources to evaluate its portfolio of crop protection products alongside Ceres hybrids, and Ceres will provide both seed and research support. Both companies will coordinate outreach to ethanol mills and develop industry training programs.
"By working together with Syngenta, we believe we can advance the development of sweet sorghum crop management practices and provide a more complete package of advanced hybrids and leading crop protection products to our mutual customers," said Michael Stephenson, Vice President of Operations for Ceres.
"We are committed to helping our customers to optimize their operations throughout the season. The cultivation of sweet sorghum enables growers to use land and water resources more efficiently. In collaboration with Ceres, we aim to develop this opportunity by deploying our crop protection portfolio to achieve consistent yield improvement," said Daniel Bachner, Syngenta's Global Head of Sugarcane.
Ceres, Inc. (www.ceres.net) is an agricultural biotechnology company that markets seeds for energy crops used in the production of renewable transportation fuels, electricity and bio-based products. The company combines advanced plant breeding and biotechnology to develop products that can address the limitations of first-generation bioenergy feedstocks, increase biomass productivity, reduce crop inputs and improve cultivation on marginal land. Its development activities include sweet sorghum, high-biomass sorghum, switchgrass and miscanthus. Ceres markets its products under its Blade brand.
Syngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 26,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life. For more information about us please go to www.syngenta.com.
CERES FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, including statements regarding our efforts to develop and commercialize our products, our short-term and long-term business strategies, market and industry expectations, future operating metrics, product yields and future results of operations and financial position, are forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond our control. Factors that could materially affect actual results can be found in Ceres' filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Ceres undertakes no intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Ceres' views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.
SYNGENTA FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
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SOURCE Ceres, Inc.