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Soybean farmers have their day in court

(Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2002 -- CropChoice news) -- Trial began today in the lawsuit pitting a group of farmers against the Chicago Board of Trade.

The jury has been selected, opening statements made and a few witnesses have tesitifed, said soybean farmer Harvey Joe Sanner, one of the plaintiffs, outside the federal district courtoom in Chicago.

The farmers allege that a number of directors of the Board of Trade conspired to manipulate the soybean market. In 1989, when the Board issued an emergency resolution calling for the liquidation of large contracts to purchase soybeans, short sellers, including the directors in question, made millions of dollars. Unfortunately for the farmers, the higher prices they had expected for their beans following a drought that had reduced supplies did not materialize.

"They're still saying farmers were not hurt back in 1989," Sanner said. "But there is a nagging question. If everything they say is true, then why did they fight to keep us out of court for 13 years."

Please see the June 21 CropChoice story about this, 'Small victory for soybean farmers,' at http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=755