Farmers file antitrust lawsuit against big ag companies


By Rebecca Boone, Associated Press

via CBS News - Apr 6, 2021


BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A group of farmers has filed an antitrust case against several big agricultural companies, contending the companies worked together to ban e-commerce sales in order to keep prices artificially high.


The farmers are seeking class-action status and they want a judge to force the companies to give up “unlawful profits” and pay compensation to those impacted by the high prices.


The Idaho farming operations — B & H Farming, Tyche Ag. LLC, Ceres Ag. LLC and Cedar Draw LLC, all based in Rupert — filed the lawsuit seeking class-action status on behalf of all farmers in similar situations in Idaho's U.S. District Court last month. The lawsuit is similar to other federal lawsuits filed around the country.


The lawsuit claims that four major manufacturers worked together with major wholesalers and retailers to deprive farmers of a free and open market in order to artificially inflate the price of of seeds, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other agricultural products used in planting and raising crops. The products are called “crop inputs,” because they are all materials used to start and keep the crop growing, rather than to harvest.


Spokespeople with the manufacturers...