On August 8, S&W Seed Company announced that the company has begun its initial stevia harvest for 2012, marking the second year that the company has harvested stevia on its 114-acre farm in Chowchilla, CA. The S&W predicts at least one other harvest in 2012, to take place later in the fall.
Headquartered in Central Valley, California, S&W Seed Company is focused on the production of warm climate, high yield alfalfa seed varieties. In recent years, the company has branched out into the cultivation and production of stevia, a natural, zero calorie sweetener. The company also offers seed cleaning and processing.
S&W recently planted a 150-acre second generation stevia field, using several stevia varieties that are believed to be superior to the first generation planting located on the original Chowchilla plot. The company will still use the Chowchilla plot for research and development, in addition to commercial stevia production. S&W anticipates harvesting 75% of the field at the end of the current harvest, with the fall season being a full 100%.
Mark Grewal, CEO of S&W Seed Company, said, "Our stevia program continues to make progress. This is the second harvest from the same stevia plants which reaffirms our belief that, unlike China, the California climate is suited for harvests on a multiple year basis. Additionally, we continue to gain valuable insight as our agronomists experiment with various planting and harvesting techniques. As we pioneer commercial stevia production in California, we are heartened by overcoming the various challenges that arise. The developmental knowledge and experience gained should serve S&W well into the future."
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