ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ND seed spud insurance trial delayed to Dec. 1

The federal trial for farming brothers Aaron Scott Johnson and Derek Martin Johnson of Northwood, N.D., has been delayed to Dec. 1. The Johnsons are accused of adding chemicals to potato seed production to fraudulently receive crop insurance comp...

The federal trial for farming brothers Aaron Scott Johnson and Derek Martin Johnson of Northwood, N.D., has been delayed to Dec. 1. The Johnsons are accused of adding chemicals to potato seed production to fraudulently receive crop insurance compensation.

The trial initially was set to start July 15 in Fargo, but the Johnsons and their lawyer asked for more time to prepare. Prosecutor Nick Chase earlier said the court case could take seven to 10 days.

The case was filed in January 2014 and more allegations were added in April. Prosecutors say that from 2002 to 2010, the Johnsons and their Johnson Potato Co. received indemnity payments totaling more than $2 million, as well as crop disaster payments. They allegedly falsely reported that stored crops were damaged from soft rot, including $159,000 for the 2006 crop. They raised irrigated potatoes in the Cooperstown, N.D., area and nonirrigated potatoes elsewhere.

The Johnsons allegedly applied Rid-X, a chemical for dissolving solid materials in septic systems, and spoiled and rotten frozen potatoes to their stored crop in order to speed up deterioration. They are also accused of placing heaters in the warehouse.

Related Topics: CROPS
What To Read Next
This week on AgweekTV, we hear about North Dakota corporate farming legislation and about WOTUS challenges. Our livestock tour visits a seedstock operation and a rabbit farm. And we hear about new uses for drones.
Kevin and Lynette Thompson brought TNT Simmental Ranch to life in 1985. Now, their daughter, Shanon Erbele, and her husband, Gabriel, are taking over the reins, and their sale is for Feb. 10.
Gevo will be making sustainable aviation fuel in Lake Preston, South Dakota. Summit Carbon Solutions plans to capture carbon emissions from the facility.
Even if it's not a lucrative venture, the hobby of raising rabbits continues at this farm near Sebeka, Minnesota.