Judge grants extension of settlement talks in soybean suit

FeaturesAssociated Press

A federal judge has approved an extension of settlement talks in a lawsuit claiming a soybean seed company purposely sold faulty seeds to black farmers in Mississippi.

U.S. District Judge John Fowlkes had set a Friday deadline for mediation talks in a lawsuit filed in Memphis, Tennessee, by a handful of black farmers against Stine Seed Co. A court filing Friday asked Fowlkes to extend the deadline by three weeks. He later granted the request.

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The suit alleges Stine conspired with a seed salesman to sell defective seeds to the farmers because they are black. The suit claims the good seeds the farmers thought they had bought from Stine were replaced by inferior seeds before delivery.

Adel, Iowa-based Stine says allegations including discrimination and fraud are baseless and irresponsible.