Several states across the Northern Ag Country have reported residents receiving random unsolicited packages containing seeds from China. The small clear packages reportedly have a bar code, unidentified numbers and Made in China printed on them.
If you receive a package of this type, please DO NOT open the seed package, or plant the seeds. It is also important that individuals do not throw the seeds away. The types of seeds sent in these packages have not been identified yet and many fear the unsolicited seeds could be invasive, meaning they may have the potential to introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Instead, please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label.
Jason Goltz, Regulatory Manager of the North Dakota State Seed Department says “Individuals who receive unsolicited seeds should be concerned. The introduction of a noxious weed or new disease can have devastating effects on agriculture and our food supply.”
State Ag departments such as Montana Department of Agriculture is awaiting official guidance from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on how to proceed with safe disposal of the mailed materials.
In the meantime, contact your local Department of Ag if you have one or more unsolicited package(s) of seeds arrive in your mail box.
- Montana residents: Seed Program with the Montana Department of Agriculture 406-444-3950, or email Bob Ballensky at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wyoming residents: Bruce Shambaugh with USDA-APHIS 307-432-7979, or email at Bruce.A.Shambaugh@usda.gov
- North Dakota residents: North Dakota Department of Agriculture 701-328-2391, or email to email@example.com
- South Dakota residents: South Dakota Department of Agriculture 605-773-5425, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Ag Network – 2020
MT Dept. of Ag, ND Dept. of Ag