This item has been supplied by a forage marketer and has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hay & Forage Grower.

Ceres, Inc. (Nasdaq: CERE), 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.

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 technology 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.