Mississippi Delta farmers sue Greenwood’s Express Grain

A group of Mississippi Delta farmers are suing Missouri-based UMB Bank in federal court after the bank seized their fall crops as collateral for Express cereals, a Greenwood grain elevator and a biodiesel refinery.

Farmers, in a class action, say UMB Bank knew Express Grain was on the verge of financial collapse and supported the company through the fall soybean and corn harvest until it could fill its silos in late September.

Once the silos were full, the bank called the roughly $ 70 million in loans owed by Express Grain, forcing it to offer the harvested grain as collateral, according to the complaint filed on November 8 in the United States district court.

Farmers claim they were not paid for their crops and are suing to recover their losses. It is common for farmers to get paid only after a grain elevator has sold it on their behalf.