The Minnesota Depart≠ment of Agriculture (MDA) is issuing a warning to landowners: Be cautious when buying and planting seed, especially for conservation plantings.

The Minnesota Depart­ment of Agriculture (MDA) is issuing a warning to landowners: Be cautious when buying and planting seed, especially for conservation plantings.

Recently, the MDA has encountered several issues with seed sold in the state. In 2016 and 2017, the highly invasive weed Palmer amaranth was introduced through conservation seed mixes. The department found seed mislabeled with improper information regarding the contents of the mix. Also, seed has been sold with very low germination rates. All of these issues are violations of state law.

“Minnesota’s seed industry is very important to agriculture and conservation efforts,” said Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “We are fortunate to have many reputable native seed producers that benefit conservation and pollinator habitat. However, a few bad players can bring in invasive weeds. It is important we are vigilant as we try to better our landscapes.”

Here is the MDA’s advice for landowners who plan to purchase and plant seed for conservation efforts.

When selecting a vendor to plant a conservation area:

• Ask the seed vendor to provide you a copy of the seed label before buying the seed. Be sure the seed has been tested and confirmed free of Palmer amaranth.

• Make sure the contract with the seeding contractor covers your risks as a landowner. If prohibited noxious weeds are introduced during the project, the vendor should be accountable for their eradication.

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