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MT botanist explains mysterious seeds

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (2) – 7/30/20

Montana State University Billings botanist Dr. Jason Comer explained to KURL8 Billings that mysterious seeds from China are not something to be taken lightly. Dr. Comer says these seeds could potentially be invasive and wreak havoc on Montana’s agriculture if planted or not disposed of properly. He used leafy spurs as an example to explain how invasive species reduce plant diversity by replacing valuable forage in agricultural and livestock fields. “We have almost lost the American chestnut to a fungal pathogen that was introduced. There is various bacteria and viruses that could be carried in these seeds that can get into agricultural species and that can decimate entire populations,” said Dr. Comer. Anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds should not open, plant, or throw the seeds away and instead should call the Montana Department of Agriculture directly at 406-444-3950.

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