- Author: Ben Faber
Report Unsolicited Seeds to APHIS
Author: UC Integrated Pest Management Program
Have you had unexpected seeds show up in the mail? Unknown seeds could be invasive plants, contain invasive insects, or have plant disease causing agents. Here's what the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has to say about it.
APHIS Stakeholder Announcement July 28, 2020 (Language from their website)
USDA Investigates Packages of Unsolicited Seeds
USDA is aware that people across the country have received suspicious, unsolicited packages of seed that appear to be coming from China. 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.
USDA urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact their State plant regulatory official or APHIS State plant health director. Please 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.
At this time, [USDA does not] have any evidence indicating 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. USDA is 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.
USDA is committed 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.
Cecilia Sequeira (301) 851-4054
Public Value: Safeguarding abundant and healthy food
Focus Area: Ag, Environment, Pest Management, Yard & Garden
Tags: USDA, invasive, seed, press release, plants, regulations, pest management
Unlabeled seeds from unsolicited packages. Credit: Anonymous.
Alt text: Unrequested package of seeds in a plastic bag next to the mailing envelope the seeds were delivered in. Credit Anonymous./h2>/h2>/h1>
- Author: Ben Faber
Travel can be enlightening. In Turkey I learned that sour orange rootstock is routinely used with lemon and mandarin scions without any fear of tristeza virus, a formidable disease of oranges. When I heard this I asked Georgios Vidalakis in charge of the UC Clonal Protection Program and a virologist. And he said that it was true and the neat thing is that the rootstock can handle heavy, calcareous soils better than other citrus rootstocks. So we are doing a trial on rootstocks and sour orange is included.
Something else I “learned” was that if you girdle citrus at flowering, the fruit has few or no seeds. Well, I talked to many growers and scientists and they all said the same thing. I went through the citrus literature and I could find no mention of this. I emailed Carol Lovatt, the plant physiologist at UCR and she said that when you alter hormone flows by girdling, who knows what might happen. So we set up a little trial in lemon that flowers pretty much all year long on the coast. Every month we girdle branches with either a hand saw or a girdling knife which make different sized cuts, flagging the branches with different colored tape to identify the girdling date. Over an 18 month period we harvested fruit and cut it to count seeds. And………………………………………there was only a slight difference in seed numbers, a few less in the girdled trees.
The goal of this trial was to see if girdling worked and if so, what was being changed in the tree and if could identify that, then maybe we could develop a nutritional program that would do the same thing. That way we wouldn’t need to girdle. But not everything you hear turns out to be true.