NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture has identified unsolicited foreign seeds that have been mailed to residents. NMDA reports that starting on July 24 it began receiving reports of the mailed seeds that were not clearly labeled as seeds.

The department’s Laboratory Division’s State Seed Lab states it has identified 224 seed packets and four of the packets contained seeds that are noxious weeds to New Mexico. NMDA urges residents to not plant the seeds if you receive them.

If the seed has been planted, you are asked to collect the seed before germination or to destroy any emerging plants. The United States Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and other federal agencies are working closely with NMDA as well as other state departments of agriculture to investigate the situation. NMDA states that it will no longer identify or catalog the unsolicited foreign seed packets however, it will hold them for the USDA to take possession of.

The USDA will be performing a more extensive investigation. Residents who have received unsolicited foreign shipments are asked to save all shipping labels, packaging, and seeds.

The NMDA also wants to remind the public that unknown seeds could create a new invasive plant species and new plant diseases to New Mexico. They also advise people to not plant seeds from any unknown origins.

The seed packets should still be reported to NMDA through the form available on the NMDA’s website homepage.

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