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First Seed Sales of Dedicated Energy Crops Begin
Date:12/11/2008

ide flexibility from year to year and mitigate risk. "With a perennial and an annual crop in our product portfolio, we can support a broad range of geographies and production systems," he said.

Blade seed products include two improved switchgrass seed varieties -- EG 1101 and EG 1102 -- and two new high-biomass sorghum hybrids -- ES 5200 and ES 5201.

EG 1101 is a lowland-type switchgrass bred for greater biomass yields and better establishment. It has high biofuel conversion potential, and has shown superior conversion characteristics for biochemical and thermochemical processes. "It may work well in a 2-cut system in high rainfall areas," noted Hardimon. A similar cultivar, EG 1102, is adapted farther north than EG 1101. Several switchgrass varieties suited to mid and northern latitudes are also available from Blade.

ES 5200 and ES 5201 are two high-biomass sorghum hybrids that offer high yield potential in single-cut harvest systems. Since the plants generally do not produce grain heads until very late in the season, if at all, they continue growing -- and producing more biomass -- until early autumn or the first killing freeze. "This offers the potential for tremendous productivity," said Hardimon. Blade will also have sorghum hybrids suited to multi-cut harvest systems.

Blade will also be the first major brand to package sorghum seed by count rather than weight -- an industry practice that has been well received in corn and soy. "This allows producers to purchase only the amount of seed they need rather than having to overbuy to cover variations in seeds per pound," Hardimon said. Likewise, Blade switchgrass seed will be sold as pounds of pure live seed (PLS) -- rather than bulk weight -- so customers will purchase only viable seeds.

Hardimon said that he has been encouraged by the early interest he has received from members of the grower community. Brand representatives
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SOURCE Ceres, Inc.
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