Unsolicited Seed Shipments

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You may have recently seen news reports of people all across the country receiving unsolicited seed packages from China. Over the past few days, we have had reports of seeds arriving to residents in North Carolina, and a homeowner in Currituck County reported receiving a package earlier this week. These packages vary in size, shape, and description, and the seeds inside vary as well. They may look harmless, or resemble seeds of common vegetables; however, the USDA encourages all recipients to leave the packets unopened and unplanted. Planting the seeds can lead to the spread of invasive weed species or other invasive organisms associated with the seeds.

If you receive an unsolicited seed packet in the mail, contact the Plant Industry Division of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services toll-free at 800-206-9333 or email at newpest@ncagr.gov. If you email the Plant Industry Division, include a picture of the seeds as well as your name, address, city, and phone number. Once you’ve contacted the NCDA&CS, you can bag the packets in a ziplock bag and a member of the NCDA&CS staff will contact you to pick up the seeds.

Seed packages from China (Photo CNN)

Seed packages from China (Photo CNN)

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Adam Formella, Currituck County Agriculture Extension Agent at (252) 232-2261 or by email at Adam_Formella@ncsu.edu.