Hunters Warned of Potentially Contaminated Food Plot Seed

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Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is warning hunters to check their food plot seed for potential contamination. Authorities in Florida have traced contaminated joint vetch seed to several retailers in south, central and southeastern Louisiana. The vetch contains seeds from federal noxious weed called tropical soda apple.

Officials from the Bureau of Compliance Monitoring, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services contacted the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry in the spring of this year with the results of seed analysis. Tests showed that one lot, designated HU2842, distributed by Pennington Seeds of Madison California was contaminated. LDAF contacted retailers and informed them of the contamination. However, approximately 91 bags, about 4,550 pounds, were sold with no record of the individuals who purchased them.

LDWF is urging hunters who may have purchased this brand of seed from this lot to contact LDAF as soon as possible. Tad Hardy, Administrative Coordinator of Quarantine Programs for LDAF may be reached at (225)925-8100. LDAF will arrange an inspection of food plots where the suspected seed was used to determine if TSA is present. If present in low numbers, the plants would be removed for disposal. In the unlikely event of a highly infested plot, LDAF would make arrangements with the owner to eliminate the TSA and conduct follow-up inspections over the next few years.

The goal is to identify the TSA before it matures and bears fruit. The fruit is attractive to deer and other wildlife and its seed can be spread by animals feeding on it.

Officials do not anticipate finding high levels of contamination in the vetch, but only a few plants would be enough to establish TSA in a remote area where it could thrive and spread.