August 10, 2020 - 1:27pm -- uhlenbrock.9@osu.edu

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 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 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.

The USDA-APHIS and ODA are asking Ohioans who have received these unsolicited packages not to open, plant, or throw them away. Instead, citizens should report receiving seeds here and then submit the packages to USDA using one of the following methods:

  1. 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 Street, Building 23
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

-OR-

2. Place the materials including the seeds, original packaging material and your contact information in a resealable plastic bag and drop them off at OSU Extension Clermont County (1000 Locust St., Owensville, OH). Please note that Extension facilities have COVID-19 specific procedures such as wearing a facial covering that must be followed and limited office hours: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-1pm by appointment at 513-732-7070.  For alternate hours contact Gigi Neal at neal.331@osu.edu.

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 United States should have a phytosanitary certificate which guarantees the seeds meet important requirements.