The National Corn Growers Association urges any farmers who have received suspicious, unsolicited packages of seed that appear to be coming from China to follow guidance being provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on how to proceed. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies, and State departments of agriculture to investigate the situation.
Currently, the USDA website urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact their State plant regulatory official or APHIS State plant health director. Then, it asks they hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions.
Do not plant seeds from unknown origins.
USDA indicates that they do not have any evidence suggesting this is something other than a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. They are currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.
NCGA supports USDA’s commitment to preventing the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protecting U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds. Visit the APHIS’ website to learn more about USDA’s efforts to stop agricultural smuggling and promote trade compliance.