Commercial Law Keyed to Lopucki
Washington State Hop Producers, Inc. v. Goschie Farms, Inc
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From 1965 until 1985, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) required hop growers to obtain Federal allotments in order to market their hops; this was called a hop base. Hop base became a scarce, expensive commodity and a secondary market developed for trading. Plaintiff was organized in 1979 to acquire, lease and sell federal hop base. Since the system restricted entry, the USDA considered making various efforts to change it, but by June 1985 substantial changes in the marketing order were not expected. On May 31, 1985, Plaintiff mailed invitations to bid on two pools of hop base for sale. On June 21, 1985, Plaintiff mailed notices of award to bids in the $0.5 to $0.76 range, including Defendant and other respondents. On June 27, 1985, the USDA terminated the marketing order effective December 31, 1985. Defendant refused to perform on the contract. Plaintiff was able to sell 50% of one of the pools for price of $0.7 per pound compared with earlier successful bids of $0.6 per pound. Plaintiff brought an action to enforce the contracts. The trial court granted summary judgment to the Defendant. The Court of Appeals affirmed and Plaintiff appealed.
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