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Property Law Keyed to Singer
Johnson v. Paynesville Farmers Union Cooperative Oil Co.
Citation:817 N.W.2d 693 (Minn. 2012)
In 2007, the Cooperative applied pesticides to conventional farm fields near the Johnson’s organic farm. In June 2007, the Johnson’s filed a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture alleging the Cooperative contaminated their soybean field through a pesticide drift. Tests revealed that a pesticide chemical was present on the soybeans and there was visual damage to the soybeans. In response, the Johnson’s organic certifying agent directed the Johnson’s to destroy the soybean crop and restart the 3 year transition to organic. In July 2008, the Johnson’s reported another incident of contamination on their alfalfa field. There were no signs of physical damage, but some chemicals were present, and the Johnson’s took the alfalfa out of organic production for an additional 3 years. In addition, the Johnson’s alleged they experienced a spur in weed growth due to the small dosage of pesticides, were burdened with additional record-keeping, and Oluf Johnson experienced “cotton mouth, swollen throat and headaches.”
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