Unsolicited seed deliveries continue across the United States as all 50 states release warnings for residents.
The origin of a majority of the seeds is suspected to be China, but the Utah Department of Agriculture has identified packages coming from Malaysia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan as well.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture received an additional 75 calls reporting unsolicited seed deliveries yesterday, bringing the total to 300 notifications. The department has also released a reporting form in an effort to collect data on the situation. The link can be found here.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has suggested that the seeds are horticulture and weed varieties. Additional research from the Utah Department of Agriculture suggests that some of the samples are noxious weeds of the lespedeza species, an Asian herb in the mint family, and various rose species. They also note that some of the seeds are flowers that are already established in the U.S. They explain that the variety and unpredictability of the packages is concerning.
If you receive a package of seeds in the mail, call the Iowa Department of Agriculture immediately at 515-281-5321. Do not open the package, plant, or throw away the seeds. The department will provide further direction.
The USDA reports that the fluid situation is a case of agricultural smuggling that will remain under investigation.