Ceres, Inc. Announces Successful Product Results

Published: Feb 08, 2016

  • Company hybrids top multiple independent field trials.
  • Commercial customers note yield advantages of Ceres’ seed products.
  • Company is scaling up seed for commercial sales.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Feb. 08, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ceres, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERE), an agricultural biotechnology company focused on forage and feed crops, announced today that the company will introduce multiple new forage sorghum hybrids for 2016 sales following successful results from field evaluations in the United States and Puerto Rico. The new seed products will be available to dairies, livestock producers and growers under Ceres’ Blade seed brand.

Ceres reported that in independent field evaluations at multiple locations its forage sorghum hybrids consistently placed among the top yielding hybrids. In tests conducted by the University of Florida, for example, one of Ceres’ Blade hybrids yielded 35% more milk per acre than the best yielding competitor. Similarly, in independent evaluations run by the University of New Mexico, Blade forage sorghum hybrids demonstrated double-digit percentage gains over competing products. Other field trials highlighted the superior performance of forage sorghum over silage corn when the use of water and nitrogen fertilizers are reduced. Biomass yields of Ceres’ forage sorghum hybrids were more than 50% higher on average than silage corn under such conditions.

The company reported that feedback from commercial customers was also positive. Dairies and feed operations informed the company that its Blade brand hybrids demonstrated yield and other performance advantages, including biomass yields that were two tons higher per acre than another forage sorghum variety commonly used for cattle feed in one instance. Not all commercial customers share performance data.

Ceres President and CEO Richard Hamilton indicated that the 2015 results are a positive signal for upcoming plantings. He expects the favorable trial results to drive additional distribution agreements and seed sales. He noted that the company intends to further improve its forage sorghum hybrids with traits that can allow dairies and feed lots to produce more milk and beef per acre. Results from field evaluations of Ceres lead high biomass trait in sorghum are expected to be announced soon.

“The forage market has demonstrated an eagerness for innovations that increase tonnage per acre and provide greater forage quality,” he said. “In these early days, we are already demonstrating the impact of advanced breeding and validating our trait technology. As we bring our innovations to the market, we expect to increase both the value and size of the forage sorghum market as well as further differentiate our products from competitors,” Hamilton said.

Walter Nelson, Vice President of Product Development, noted that the company has prioritized forage quality and nutrition in selecting new hybrids, which include both silage and sorghum-sudan types. “We intend to provide dairies and feedlots with more choices and greater access to proven crop technology via our improved forage sorghum hybrids as well as trait collaborations with leaders in other forage crops,” said Nelson.

Seed customers can book seed of Blade forage sorghum hybrids at www.BladeSeeds.com or through their local seed distributors. The company is currently multiplying seed for the upcoming season.

The product information in this press release represents data collected from specific company or university trials and is not a guarantee of future performance, nor does it constitute a warranty of fitness for a particular use. Results may vary, sometimes considerably, due to weather, disease pressure, environmental stress, soil type, and/or agronomic practices, among others factors. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible.

About Ceres
Ceres, Inc. is an agricultural biotechnology company that develops and markets seeds and traits to produce crops for animal feed, sugar and other markets. The company’s advanced plant breeding and biotechnology platforms, which can increase crop productivity, improve quality, reduce crop inputs and improve cultivation on marginal land, have broad application across multiple crops, including food, feed, fiber and fuel crops. Ceres markets its seed products under its Blade brand. The company also licenses its biotech traits and technology, including its Persephone genome visualization software, to other life science companies and organizations.

Ceres Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, including statements regarding Ceres’ efforts to develop and commercialize its products and technologies, anticipated yields and product performance, status of crop plantings, short-term and long-term business strategies, market and industry expectations, future operating metrics, and future results of operations and financial position, including anticipated cost savings from the company’s restructuring plan and projected cash expenditures, 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 Ceres’ 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 obligation to update publicly, except to the extent required by law, any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date the company issues this press release to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in the company’s expectations.

Contact: Gary Koppenjan (805) 376-6500 mediaoffice@ceres.net

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