Local agriculture officials collect unknown seeds from China

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Over the past 2-3 weeks the Purdue Extension of Vigo County has been collecting unknown seed packages from China.

Patty Eaton received a package of seeds  in the mail almost a week ago.

She said she thought she ordered something and forgot about it.

“I order plants from lots of places, not China necessarily. First thing I thought was what did I order? But then I saw ‘from China,’” Eaton said.

The package was addressed to Eaton’s home in Terre Haute.

She said after seeing similar stories on the news. She contacted local authorities.

“I went and I took a tissue and put it in a ziploc bag. Then I tried to see what do I do with this? I had to go online and it took a little bit. I didn’t get the final information until Friday,” she said.

The Purdue Extension of Vigo County is collecting the seeds from Wabash Valley residents.

Officials said they aren’t sure what the seeds are.

“We don’t know if they carry any type of bacteria or viruses that could be detrimental to specialty crops or commodity crops or home gardens and we don’t know if it’s an invasive species,” said Dana Gadeken, an agriculture educator at the Purdue Extension.

Gadeken said people shouldn’t plant them or throw them away.

“Once it’s out, it is very hard to control invasives, to control viruses, or bacterias or a plant that could do so many things. So it’s better to act now,” Gadeken said.

Those who receive a package of seeds are being asked to seal them in a Ziploc bag and turn them over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Packages should be mailed to this address:

USDA APHIS PPQ

State Plant Health Director

Nick Johnson

3059 N. Morton St.

Franklin, IN 46131

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