California farm launches $17 million lawsuit over seed failures

Lower-than-promised germination rates in a batch of hempseed from Colorado has spurred the California farm that bought the seed to file a $17 million lawsuit.

GX Farms of Delano, California, said in the suit it bought 520,000 Cherry Blossom hempseeds in May 2019 at 70 cents each, or $364,000, from H.E.M.P. Group of Aurora, Colorado.

According to the suit, GX Farms paid another $25,000 to a broker who promised a germination rate of 99%. GX Farms said it planned to plant 220 acres to 240 acres of the hemp last year.

But when the seeds arrived, GX Farms said in the suit, early testing showed germination rates were closer to 55%.

The farm said it tried but failed to get a refund and alleges in the suit that it lost $20,000-$100,000 an acre in profits – for a total loss of $3.5 million to $17 million.

GX Farms seeks the maximum amount, plus damages.

H.E.M.P. Group has not replied to the filing.


2 comments on “California farm launches $17 million lawsuit over seed failures
  1. David Schneider on

    Many germination rates provided in seed documents are optimistic at best. In our lab testing we are finding that the auto-allelopathy is one factor in low germination rates. Various species will secrete metabolites during growth – with the compounds inhibiting germination of adjacent plants. This is an issue with sprouting seeds. In some of our testing seeds need sufficient distance, water and soil to absorb the metabolites.

  2. Russell F Orsborn on

    If you buy certified seed it will have a proven germination rate on the tag/label, look for the blue AOSCA tag.

    Every state has an AOSCA group there, they will tell you what to look for and what it means.

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