By Thad Glenn
The Georgia Department of Agriculture has been notified that several Georgia residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China.
Recipients are strongly advised not to open the packages or plant the seeds.
Here in Stephens County I have gotten one call about these foreign seeds thus far.
“At this time, we are not sure what the seeds are and therefore are urging everyone to be exceedingly vigilant,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black says.
“If you have received one of these packages in the mail, please use extreme caution by not touching the contents and securing the package in a plastic bag,” Black said.
The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species.
The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them.
Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops.
Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.
Anyone who has received unsolicited seeds in the mail from China or any other country, may contact the Stephens County Extension Office at 706-779-5501 and I will ensure the seeds are sent to the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
(Thad Glenn is an agriculture extension agent with the Stephens County Extension Service.)