Cartons of documents at hand for the trial
A $22 million lawsuit began Tuesday in Lincoln County District Court, pitting a Kansas City commodity trade group against two ethanol plants headquartered in North Platte.The Lansing Trade Group seeks more than $22 million from the ethanol plants, which are located near the small Nebraska towns of Madrid and Cambridge.
A jury of six men and six women are considering the evidence. District Judge Donald E. Rowlands is presiding. The trial is expected to last up to two weeks.
The dispute began in 2008, during a time when corn prices fluctuated wildly. The price skyrocketed to nearly $8 a bushel during the summer. But after the economy went into a great recession, corn prices dropped below $4 a bushel in December.
Lansing claims that Mid-America Bio Energy Commodities of Nebraska, headquartered in North Platte, failed to reimburse them for contracts to buy corn from the peak to the valley of the market.
The two ethanol plants buy 16 million bushels of corn annually, producing around 40 million gallons of ethanol each year.
Lansing claims that Mid-America still owes $22 million for corn that was contracted in 2008-09.
More information about the trial is in the Bulletin's March 19 print issue.