Gravel Pit Certification Starts Making a Difference in Aitkin County

Many Aitkin County gravel pit owners have joined the fight against the spread of noxious weeds through gravel pit certification.

Canada Thistle

The goal of the Gravel Pit Certification Program is to certify gravel with a reduced seed bank, to reduce maintenance costs and the spread of Minnesota noxious weeds throughout the county.  The most common noxious weeds that infest gravel pits in Aitkin County are Common Tansy, Spotted Knapweed and Canada Thistle.

Active gravel pits/owners in the program working toward reducing seed banks in Aitkin County gravel are:

Franklin Turnock

Allen Ammala Excavating

spotted knapweed

Mark Ritter

Emery Inc.

Patrick Ritter

Park X LLC

Brooks Pit

Chad Westerlund

Tony Nistler

Johnson Sewer & Excavating INC

common tansy

Carlson Gravel Pit

Hawkinson Construction Co INC

Nelson Lakeside Farm

Kruse Gravel

Rick Boyer

Mark Demenge

Jeanette Strand

Help with noxious weed identification can be found here: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants-insects/minnesota-noxious-weed-list

mature spotted knapweed

For more information on Gravel Pit Certification Program : https://aitkincountyswcd.wordpress.com/contact-us/

Minnesotans Report Receiving Mystery Seeds Appearing to Come from China

Minnesota Department of Agriculture sent this bulletin at 07/27/2020 01:46 PM CDT

For Immediate Release
Contact: Allen Sommerfeld 651-201-6185 allen.sommerfeld@state.mn.us July 27, 2020
Minnesotans Report Receiving Mystery Seeds Appearing to Come from China

Recipients of seed packages should contact the MDA St. Paul, MN:

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has been receiving reports of residents receiving unsolicited packages of seeds appearing to come from China. Officials in other states, including Louisiana, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, have reported similar situations. Any Minnesotan receiving a package of seeds they did not order should not plant the seeds and contact the MDA.

“We’re uncertain what these seeds may be and why people are receiving these unsolicited packages,” said Denise Thiede, MDA’s Seed Unit Supervisor. “Until we know more, we encourage people to contact us because of the risk they may pose to Minnesota agriculture and our natural landscapes.”

Minnesotans should do the following if they have received unsolicited packages of seeds.

Do not throw away the package or its contents.

Do not plant the seeds.

Contact Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us and provide your name, contact information, and the date the package was received.

Officials will coordinate shipping the packaging and contents to the MDA Seed Program.

The MDA is working with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance Program on identification and destruction of the seeds.