The Montana Department of Agriculture is warning residents to be on the lookout for unsolicited packages of seeds.  The MDA has received multiple reports from Montana residents that have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have been shipped from China. Individuals are urged to contact the department if they receive a package matching this description. Please contact the Seed Program at (406) 444-3950 or bballensky@mt.gov.

If you receive a package of this type, please DO NOT open the seed package, or plant the seeds. It is also important that individuals also do not throw the seeds away. The types of seeds sent in these packages have not been identified yet.

Other states have also reported having received similar unsolicited packages through the mail. These unsolicited seeds could be invasive, meaning they may have the potential to introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Instead, please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label.

MDA is awaiting official guidance from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on how to proceed with safe disposal of the mailed materials.

The department will continue to share updates on its website as more information becomes available.