After increasing reports of Ohio citizens receiving packages of unsolicited seeds in the mail, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is again urging the public to report and submit any unsolicited seed packets to ODA.
In partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine Office, ODA is working to investigate the number of seed packets sent to Ohio, what type of seeds they are, and where they were mailed from.
Ohioans who have received these unsolicited packages are asked not to open, plant or throw them away. Instead, citizens should report receiving seeds, then submit the packages to USDA using one of the following methods:
• If possible, place the materials including the seeds, original packaging material, and your contact information in a resealable plastic bag and mail them to USDA-APHIS at the following address: Attn: USDA -SITC, 8995 East Main St., Building 23, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068
• Place the materials including the seeds, original packaging material, and your contact information in a resealable plastic bag and drop them off at the Fulton County OSU Extension Office,8770 State Hwy. 108, Wauseon, during business hours. Extension facilities may have COVID-19 specific signage detailing procedures such as wearing a facial covering that must be followed.
Unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, contain noxious weeds, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Invasive species and noxious weeds can displace native plants and increase costs of food production. All foreign seeds shipped to the U.S. should have a phytosanitary certificate which guarantees the seeds meet important requirements.
The latest information regarding this investigation is on the ODA website.