Seed

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Have you received a package of unsolicited seeds in the mail? The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA–APHIS) has now provided us with instructions regarding what individuals should do with the unsolicited seed packages. Below is a procedure for you to follow for submitting your seed packages to USDA–APHIS. They will analyze the seed and determine the species and whether any pathogens or insect pests are present and they will be able to work with other federal agencies to try to determine where these packages are coming from and how to stop them.

Remember: Do not plant
the seeds, and please limit handling of the seeds if you have opened the package. If you have already planted the seed, please report it to KDA at 785-564-6698 or KDA.PPWC@ks.gov, even if you have already called or sent an email.

Option 1 (PREFERRED):
Double-bag the seeds and all of the original mailing packaging (if you still have it) in sealable plastic bags (e.g., ziplock bags), and complete and include the attached form.  Unsolicited Seeds Submission Form

Place everything in a padded mailing envelope, and mail the package to:

USDA-APHIS
1131 SW Winding Rd, Suite A
Topeka, KS 66615


Option 2: Using duct tape, completely cover the seed packet from all sides with tape. Double-bag the seed packet into two sealable bags (e.g., ziplock bags), removing air pockets. Fold over to reduce size, and completely cover the folded-over bag with duct tape. This minimizes risk by preventing bag breakage and preventing water and sun reaching the seeds. Discard in the trash.

Following this procedure will help reduce the chance of an exotic invasive species of plant or plant pest from being introduced into our environment.  At this time, we have been given no reason to believe the seeds being sent pose a health danger to people or animals; if you or your pets exhibit any symptoms of concern, contact a medical professional.

We appreciate your assistance and cooperation.

If you have additional questions:

USDA–APHIS: 1-844-820-2234
USDA's FAQ page about unsolicited seeds

KDA Plant Protection and Weed Control program: 785-564-6698

KDA Asks Public to Report Receipt of any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds
News Release 7-25-2020: 
KDA Asks Public to Report Receipt of any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds

Agricultural Seed Program

Seed picture
The Kansas state seed program regulates agricultural seed which includes grass, legume, forage, cereal and fiber crop seeds.  Vegetable, fruit, flower, tree and shrub seeds are considered horticultural seeds and are not regulated in Kansas.

The requirements within the Kansas Seed Law (K.S.A.  2-14-15) are there to benefit the producer, dealer and consumer by requiring the seed to be tested and labeled before it is offered for sale. 

This ensures that the consumer can determine the quality of the seed before purchasing it and the producer and dealer are protected against unfair competition by non-compliant people selling low quality seed.

The seed law can basically be broken down into three sections; Labeling, Registration and Certification.  Each of these and their impact on both the retailer and consumer will be discussed below.

  • Labeling

  • Registration

  • Certification

Interpreting a Seed Label

 

A seed label contains a lot of important information.  Familiarize yourself with these definitions and always read the label before you buy any seed.  Remember that while each label is required to have this information, each label may be different so be sure to look carefully to find what you are looking for.

Kind - The actual plant that will grow from the seed.

Variety - A subdivision of a kind, which has characteristics which differentiate it from other plants of the same kind.  Most varieties are protected by federal law and can only be sold by the company that developed them.

Germination % - The percent of all of the seed in the container that is capable of growing into a plant. 

Test date - When the germination % was determined.  The older the date, the lower the actual germination % may currently be.  By law this date cannot be more than 9 months old.

Weed seed % - The amount of weed seeds, by weight, included in the container.  State law restricts the number of seeds allowed per pound. 

Noxious weed seed - No noxious weed seeds are allowed in any container of agricultural seed.  Some of the species listed as noxious may only be noxious in other states.  Only Kansas noxious weed seeds are prohibited.

Inert matter - Anything in the container that is not a seed.

Other Crop Seed - All kinds and varieties of agricultural seeds not specifically named on the label.

Hard Seed - Seeds which do not germinate because of a hard seed coat.

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