Skip to main content

Hundreds of Minnesotans have received unsolicited seeds in mail

State officials are urging people not to plant them.
Screen Shot 2020-07-27 at 2.00.50 PM

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says it has now received hundreds of reports of mysterious seeds arriving unsolicited in the mail.

State officials issued an alert over the seeds earlier this week, saying they were possibly coming from China or other eastern Asia countries, and has since received more than 700 reports from Minnesotans.

While initially unsure what the seeds were, MDA analysis have since confirmed some of them to be cosmos, radish, mung bean, juniper, basil, cucurbit, and zinnia.

While none of these are invasive plants, the MDA says the seeds "may carry disease and pests can hide in packaging."

"So far, there is no indication these unsolicited seeds have gone through appropriate inspection or that they are properly labeled," it added.

The department says it's working with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the problem, with there having been similar reports of seed packages arriving in several other states.

The USDA suggests it might be a "brushing scam" where individuals receive "unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales."

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Those getting the seeds have told MDA they have never made an online seed order, or bought seeds online earlier in the year but never received them.

Anyone who gets the seeds should save them and report it to the MDA here. Do not open the seed packets or plant the seeds, and if the packets are already open, place them in a tightly-sealed plastiv bag.

If you've already planted them, destroy any that have germinated. After pulling them up, double bag them and the surrounding soil, and put them in your regular trash.

Next Up

police lights

Carjacking reported in Woodbury; attempted carjacking in Edina

In both instances, women were exiting their vehicles when the suspects approached.

E.J. Stephens

Michigan State denies Gophers' upset bid

Joey Hauser's last-second lay-up handed Minnesota its fourth straight loss.

unsplash online learning child student

Minneapolis schools go to online learning for 2 weeks amid staff shortage

The online learning period starts Friday and will run for two weeks.

pexels bar face mask covid

Vaccinated can spread omicron, so why are Twin Cities requiring diners show vax proof?

Starting next week, indoor diners in the Twin Cities will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.

Daycare child care

MN child care providers will no longer need to quarantine kids, staff exposed to COVID

The state has loosened the rule that previously required exposed staff and children to quarantine.

Jim Kaat

Twins to retire Jim Kaat's No. 36 jersey

Kaat is the 10th player in franchise history to have his number retired.

Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 1.41.10 PM

Minnesota firefighter dies from COVID just days after his father

The 42-year-old leaves behind his wife and their 10 children.

Chet Holmgren

Chet Holmgren announces partnership with Topps

The Minneapolis native is the latest to capitalize on NIL deals.


High commodity prices have a side effect for farmers: a shortage of seeds

Strong crop prices have farmers around the country planting more acreage. Ag officials are advising growers to get their seeds now because the most popular varieties of corn may not be available later.

I voted sticker

A huge number of Minnesotans have already requested mail-in ballots

Officials have encouraged people to vote by mail due to the pandemic.

U.S. corn planting may be most since 1937, seeds in short supply

An official with Minnesota's Ag Department says farmers should be able to find some type of corn seed to plant this spring, but the most popular varieties may not be available. High prices have farmers all over the country boosting corn acreage. Minnesota expects about a ten percent increase over last year.

How a grain elevator fraud has rocked the town of Ashby

State officials are urging farmers to file claims to cover their losses.

Screen Shot 2020-01-24 at 11.45.34 AM

Coronavirus outbreak: Should Minnesotans be concerned?

There have only been two confirmed cases in the U.S. so far.

Minnesota farmers receive positive approval ratings

A new survey by a national research firm finds more than 80 percent of people have a positive view on agriculture in Minnesota. The majority of the 500 residents surveyed also agreed farming was an important part of the state's economy.