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3/18/2017
Invasive seeds found

KODIAK (AP) — A Kodiak farmer has discovered seeds from an invasive plant species prohibited in Alaska in a popular brand of poultry feed.

Bells Flats Poultry LLC owner Chris Ford discovered Cirsium arvense — also known as creeping or Canada thistle — seeds in Scratch and Peck brand feed, The Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Thursday.

"I was concerned about that because I know thistles can be invasive species," Ford said.

Ford said she has been buying the Scratch and Peck Feeds for a while and this is the first time she noticed the creeping thistle seed.

Ford contacted the Kodiak Soil and Water Conservation District that in turn contacted Heather Stewart, invasive plant and agricultural pest coordinator for the Alaska Division of Agriculture’s Plant Materials Center.

Stewart then purchased and tested whole-seed chicken seed products from many sources around the state. And found three other prohibited seeds: Galeopsis tetrahit, also known as hempnettle; Avena fatua, also known as wild oats; and Polygonum convolvulus, also known as wild buckwheat or black bindweed.

Stewart was not available for comment at press time.

The Alaska Division of Agriculture notified Scratch and Peck Feeds of the invasive species and stopped sale of three varieties of feed.