The remainder of the area (about 750 square feet) is used as walkways and to accommodate tree roots, watercourses, boulders, and so forth. Whether the seed originates from a local forestland or from a distant supplier, ginseng seed requires stratification before it will successfully germinate. Using the wild-simulated or woods-cultivated method, you should be able to start a quarter-acre ginseng garden for less than $1,000. Remove dead limbs, rocks and aggressively growing shrubs that might compete with your ginseng. Approx. $109.95 Growing ginseng using the wild-simulated approach basically requries minimal disturbance to the forest floor and leaving the ginseng to grow naturally. Older ginseng stages are considered to be the three- and four-prong stages. From a practical standpoint, the planting of locally or regionally sourced stock may prove more successful since it is generally going to be better adapted to the regional climate. Also note that if your goal is root production, as opposed to seed or transplant production, the ultimate return on the investment depends largely on the ability to manage the crop so that the final root appears "wild" rather than "cultivated." The planting beds should run up and down the slope for better drainage. Calcium is important in fighting disease. Currently, wholesale seed prices range from $35 to $45 per pound, and retail prices range from $50 to $90 per pound. It may also increase germination and competition from other plants. For example, a half-acre planted in ginseng will start producing seeds in the third year. Do I have the time, patience, and labor to do it. Following germination, ginseng seedlings appear as small, three-leaflet (trifoliate) plants and remain in this growth stage for the entire first year. Items with an asterisk (*) were found by the authors of this publication to be especially useful in a study of wild Pennsylvania ginseng habitat (published in 2013). Yields or dried roots from a well-managed planting should average about 1 ton per acre, although greater yields are often reported. 500 seeds/oz. The cost to grow an acre of ginseng was Ginseng husbandry is an activity that can help conserve a native plant resource while giving forestland owners a chance to become better acquainted with Pennsylvania's rich biological heritage. A typical seed yield is 150 to 250 lb/acre. Subtracting costs ($1,925) leaves a profit of $4,375 on one-tenth of an acre. There are three methods to growing ginseng. The fourth year, you can expect around fifty pounds of seed, then one hundred pounds or more in the fifth and sixth year. 4000 seeds per pound (Wisconsin seed tends to be bigger) Plant seed in Spring, late summer/early Fall. In some regions, ginseng hunters comb the mount… It helps restore and conserve a native plant species threatened by overcollection and other pressures such as land development and deer browse. Harvesting, cleaning, and drying the roots will take about fifty hours. On steep slopes, after seeding and mulching, place dead limbs along with well-branched young saplings across the face of the slope to keep the mulch and leaf litter from washing away after heavy rainfall. However, the best growth is obtained under a specific set of conditions. However, if you do not already have ginseng present on your forestlands, and there is no source of native planting stock available in your area (as is often the case), commercial seed from a distant supplier may be the only choice and is acceptable for getting started in ginseng husbandry. Also note that in terms of revenue, in recent years prices have remained low for woods-cultivated roots that appear similar to field-grown (i.e., cultivated) products. A half acre will produce anywhere from 0 to 200 pounds of dried roots in six to ten years. Remove the leaf litter from the ground first. deep and at least 14 inches (36 cm.) Cover the seeds with 3/4 inch of soil. hours maintenance per acre during production years, and 3,500 hours per acre for harvest and drying operations. This will help control spacing and avoid dense planting. The powder is very fine and has mini… If the calcium level is low, gypsum (calcium sulfate) should be added. After a couple of rain storms, the site will look completely natural and no one will be able to notice that any ginseng planting had occurred. These activities can also encourage disease problems, so a balance must be struck between pushing plants and establishing conditions in which plants thrive and are fruitful. Planting rates can vary from a few ounces to several pounds per acre, depending on the investment (and risk) that the landowner is willing to make. Growers may find a number of benefits from enrolling in this pro-gram, including crop documentation, price premiums, product branding, and better access to domestic markets. To sell ginseng in Pennsylvania, growers should locate an individual or business that has a state-granted vulnerable plant license or obtain a license themselves. When compared to the cost of seed, transplants are much more expensive at $0.50 to $1.50 per root. Wild-simulated ginseng will require at least eight to ten years to yield a marketable product. Besides medicinal plants such as American ginseng, other forest-farmed products from Pennsylvania include maple syrup, craft materials (grasses, ferns, mosses, branches, pine cones, etc. Managing ginseng plantings for seed production can generate annual income if the forest farm is large enough and if seeds are harvested and processed following commercial standards. Do not over fertilize. As the operation increases in size, the costs for certain supplies tend to decrease since quantity discounts begin to apply. Ginseng plants are extremely susceptible to a number of fungal diseases where moisture or wet conditions persist. The greatest threat is theft and crops should not be grown in areas where people dig wild ginseng. In this process, future values are discounted to the present and provide what is referred to as net present value, which is simply the discounted sum of all costs and revenues incurred over the life of the investment. A list of currently registered ginseng buyers is available from DCNR upon request or via the Internet (Web address provided at the end of this publication). The additional soil is necessary to create a rounded or domed bed, which will allow the bed to shed excess moisture more readily during a rainstorm. Generally, the progression of vegetative growth is from seedling to one-prong (with five leaflets); from one-prong to two-prong (with ten leaflets); from two-prong to three-prong (with fifteen leaflets); and from three-prong to four-prong (with twenty leaflets). Wild-simulated roots may yield closer to 100 to 600 pounds per acre and contain 200 to 350 dry roots per pound. Both pathways may be observed, although the latter is more common where better growing conditions exist. As any ginseng grower will tell you, that beats growing most any other crop by a country mile! To grow wild simulated ginseng, plant seeds ½ to 1 inch (1-2.5 cm.) Two approaches are generally followed in ginseng husbandry and forest farming: (1) the woods-cultivated approach and (2) the wild-simulated approach. The greatest threat to the crop is theft. View our privacy policy. For a one-tenth-acre plot, 1,600 seeds per bed multiplied by nine beds requires 14,400 seeds. Always buy ginseng rootlets from reputable farmers; Fresh, high quality plants from our 1000 acre farm in Wausau, WI; 40-50 Wisconsin ginseng rootlets per pound; Inspected and graded prior to packaging/shipping; Plant within 7-10 days of arrival; Keep in clean, cool, damp place. You can add gypsum if needed after sowing the seeds. The simplest and most economical method is propagation from seed since it requires less time and labor and cost than root division and the results are more predictable. However, these challenges practically ensure a strong market for such products and, thus, a place for the patient forest farmer as a supplier. Aspect largely determines the duration and intensity of sunlight exposure, and these in turn dictate temperature and moisture regimes in an area. More roots will be needed per pound as size and weight per root decreases, and vice versa. Stratified seed. Much of the ginseng presently entering the marketplace is grown in field conditions under artificial shade, but the most sought-after and valuable ginseng root still comes from plants grown in the forests of eastern North America. It increases the productivity of forestlands. deep in untilled soil in the fall – untilled so the roots will take on the wayward gnarled look of wild ginseng. of dried root per acre. Additionally, yields will generally be lower due to the smaller size and weight of individual roots and less-crowded planting arrangements. One-tenth of an acre (about 4,350 square feet) allows for nine 5-by-80-foot (width by length) raised beds. Whether purchased or just relocated from existing plants in your forest, any transplanting should be done in late summer or fall, when the bud is set on the roots for next year's growth. Comparing the two systems shows clear differences in costs and revenue (Table 2). Forest farming of ginseng, as part of an integrated forest management strategy, can supplement forest revenues from other sources (e.g., timber) and offset costs such as annual property taxes. Before creating raised beds, it is wise to consider the suitability of the terrain for such improvements, especially if you plan to use farm or garden equipment. Similarly, areas where many tree roots or large rocks occur at the soil surface are difficult for intensive cultivation since they can create difficult and hazardous conditions for the use of mechanical equipment. If you see any water pooling in the bottom of the storage bag, the seeds are being kept too moist. Forest farmers selling to domestic consumers in farmers' markets and shops may want to develop value-added ginseng products. Where wild plants or populations already occur, it is best to use these pre-existing plants for growing stock rather than introducing commercial sources into the area. Ginseng has a very high cost of production. Thus, while propagation by root division is appropriate for some purposes, such as increasing numbers of genetically identical plants for seed production, it is not recommended if your sole objective is to produce root that is legally and economically acceptable. Wild-simulated ginseng offers the possibility of turning a fair profit from less investment in labor or money. Growers can also make teas and tinctures (i.e., alcohol extracts) with low-grade roots (damaged or cultivated in appearance) in order to make the most of their investment. Most of us won’t be planting 80 pounds of seed in a year, however. There are also "niche" markets, particularly in urban areas, for fresh root. If proper planning and care are taken, it will not damage the integrity, function, or aesthetics of the forest ecosystem. Anything more and you risk spread of disease to the ginseng plants and roots. Since ginseng produces palmately compound leaves in which each leaf consists of one to seven smaller leaflets arranged around a central axis, each of its stages are identified by the total number of leaves (rather than leaflets) on a plant. For a one-tenth-acre plot, 1,600 seeds per bed multiplied by nine beds requires 14,400 seeds. In some states the poaching of ginseng is a felony offense. The woods-cultivated system's primary advantages are that plant and root growth are hastened and cultivation is convenient and organized. As a result, it is advisable to leave a number of these "seed plant" stages when harvesting wild-simulated plantings to ensure a supply of seeds. However, the woods-cultivated approach receives revenue at around five years as opposed to at least ten years for wild-simulated ginseng, and yields are generally much greater than for wild-simulated ginseng. Because of ginseng's high value, it is sought after by many. Woods-cultivated root can be discerned on the market by experienced buyers, and its value can be well below wild or wild-simulated product value. In this approach, the goal is to establish and maintain "wild" populations. You may choose to remove any undesirable overstory or understory trees and shrubs to keep with the overall forest management goals and plans. Clearing the forest floor of companion plants might not be necessary because having other plants present not only help to inhibit the spread of disease but they also provide competition like it would in the wild. It is not advisable to maintain dense plantings beyond the fourth year of growth because fungal diseases almost always begin to appear by this time. See All Pest, Disease and Weed Identification, See All Beer, Hard Cider, and Distilled Spirits, See All Community Planning and Engagement, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), NEWBio Energy Crop Profile: Giant Miscanthus, Discounted Net Revenue at 4% Interest Rate. Keep in mind that while the use of indicator species is helpful, the specific plants used to identify favorable growing sites for ginseng will vary somewhat from region to region across the state. Viable ginseng seeds (Figure 2) are one of the most significant investments in establishing a successful ginseng operation. one-pound of ginseng seed contains 6,500 seeds on average and can be purchased at an average price of $90 (range: $45 to $130). American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is a native forest plant whose root has been collected for centuries in Pennsylvania and the surrounding region. DO NOT FREEZE; 1#-5# (item#sku) Forest farming is one approach to ginseng stewardship and conservation. Growers need to recognize that it is unlawful to transport ginseng across state boundaries for sale elsewhere without first obtaining a vulnerable plant license; this regulation has been established in order to better track the state's ginseng resource, and violations can bring stiff state and federal penalties. Although the plants should ultimately be grown at a low-density spacing to reduce the potential for disease problems, the initial seeding rate can be relatively high since many seedlings will be lost over time. Price. Therefore, you should not become preoccupied with growing the "biggest" plants if root production is the primary goal. This table can be used to see how such factors will increase or decrease yields--and, thus, revenues. A simple way to create a raised bed is to till or dig an area slightly larger than the desired bed width and use the outside soil to build up or hill the center. No more than 3" of leaf litter is necessary. Order Here. In some states the poaching of ginseng is a felony offense. Approx. Prior to planting, a soil test is recommended. Raised beds allow for concentrated plantings around which establishment and maintenance activities are centered. Site selection is very important in this regard. Stratified seed means it has seen 45-60 days of protected, cold temperatures initiating germination. A north or east facing slope is preferred. First, ginseng reacts poorly to crowded circumstances. do not persist over the winter months. In terms of costs, you should include the time and labor required to prepare the site, plant seeds, maintain the crop, harvest the plants, and dry the harvested product. One level to pay close attention to is the calcium (Ca) level. one-pound of ginseng seed contains 6,500 seeds on average and can be purchased at an average price of $90 (range: $45 to $130). Rake the leaf litter to the bare ground. If you choose to plant the seeds by hand, plant 4-5 seeds per square feet. Using a larger interest rate, such as 7 percent, would make the investment even less profitable. At the same time, prices for wild-simulated roots that closely resemble “wild" products continue to climb. For example, select sites that have American basswood in the canopy, with maple-leaf viburnum and Indian-turnip in the understory. Some growers carefully step down on each row to firm the soil around the seeds after planting. Depending on your preference and motivation, this approach may involve little care or maintenance, and the chief investment will be seed for planting. Selecting the proper planting site is crucial. Please keep in mind that an acre is 43,500 square feet. In this table, seed yield is determined by the number of plants in a garden, bed, or area and the number of seeds produced per plant (according to whether berries are single or double seeded). Experienced buyers pay less for "cultivated-looking" roots, no matter where they are grown (field or forest). American ginseng is an adaptable plant that tolerates a wide variety of forest conditions. You should always check on market conditions before digging your roots to determine the best year and time to sell. Readers are also encouraged to obtain the companion publication to this, Nontimber Forest Products from Pennsylvania 1: American Ginseng, as it reviews and explains Pennsylvania ginseng regulations in considerable detail (see "For Further Information" Section). Nor do these calculations reflect excessive losses from rodents, slugs, insects, fungal diseases, weeds, and theft. Care should be taken when digging and cleaning roots to keep them intact. By a typical seed yield will be 150 – 250 lbs per acre. The yield of cultivated ginseng depends on the condition under which the crop is grown, and the experience and skill of the grower. 1,500 to 2,000 pounds dry weight per acre with 100 to 250 dry roots to a pound. On the other hand, the same size woods planting that has been cultivated less intensively can require 3,600 hours total, over a period of six to eight years. If dried too slowly, mold may form on product. This listing requires that the U.S. deep and at least 14 inches (36 cm.) Calcium is important in fighting disease. The fee for a resident is $50.50 per year and for a non-resident $100.75 per year. Large growers prefer to sow at the higher rates to avoid skips or bare spots in their beds. With abundant forestlands and a climate well suited to ginseng, Pennsylvanians have a unique opportunity to produce some of the finest ginseng root in the world. A good profit can be had with an acre of ginseng producing $75,000 to $100,000 per acre in 4 to 7 years. With wild-simulated plantings, the importance of forest-site selection cannot be overstated. Seed prices in the past have ranged from $25/lb to $200/lb depending primarily on availability. In the final year, harvesting and preparing the roots for sale (cleaning and drying) is estimated at 45 hours. $28.95 $21.71. Then rake the leaves back over the bed to serve as mulch. In reality, roughly 50% of the seeds will not germinate. Once the bed is shaped, the soil can be amended as desired with limestone (for pH adjustment), gypsum (to supply calcium), or organic amendments such as well-rotted sawdust or compost. Too much and your ginseng sproutling will have a hard time working its way through the thick mulch of leaves. Cover the seeds with the removed leaves, which will act as mulch. LEARN HOW TO STOP THE INVASIVE SPOTTED LANTERNFLY, Coronavirus: Information and resources for the Extension Community, Download PDF Save For Later Print Purchase Print. Seeds planted per ½ acre ($180 per lb.) Or if you have limited space or a great deal of promising land with plans to use most of it, then spending the time to prepare your site for planting is important. Choosing a location based solely on one (e.g., trees) or the other (e.g., herbs) is far less reliable. Whenever possible, local ginseng genetics should be conserved for future generations. Once ginseng plantings are established and begin to reach reproductive stages, they can be tended for seed production and the seeds used for planting. Ginseng buyers use many characteristics to determine the value of ginseng root. Ginseng can be grown from fresh seeds or rootstock. The venture is still profitable but not quite as profitable when a time factor is included. Seeds will go through a required cold dormancy of winter, stratifying naturally. Table 2 gives comparative costs and revenues for the two husbandry approaches while Figure 2 is a cash-flow diagram illustrating costs and revenues for both approaches to ginseng forest farming. 2020 Fall Sale! In subsequent years, the plants add leaflets, entire leaves, or both. 1 oz. Because common names vary, the scientific name is given in parentheses. Ginseng looks like a strawberry plant the first year and only has three leaves. The biggest potential problem any grower will face is the risk of having their crop poached. It is a fascinating and informative hobby with the potential to provide a significant source of income. Entering your postal code will help us provide news or event updates for your area. The natural fertility of the particular planting site will determine both the quantity and the quality of the ginseng that can be grown there. Where there are no pre-existing plants, and therefore “commercial" stock is the only option, you should seek out local or regional nurseries or farms. In the second year has five leaves and a second prong. The planting of ginseng seed on Pennsylvania forestlands has been a common practice for at least a century; as a result, whether a given plant is truly "wild" is always open to question and speculation. Third, the price-per-pound returns for wild-simulated products are generally greater than for woods-cultivated products due to the often "wilder" appearance. The example calculations are provided only as a guide to the potential costs and revenue that you might encounter. These species in particular tend to indicate not only good habitat in terms of light and moisture but also frequently high calcium content in the soil, which is believed to be beneficial for American ginseng growth and survival. Although ginseng husbandry is a great opportunity for Pennsylvanians, it also has two major risks associated with it. Roots grown via the wild-simulated approach are generally smaller than with the woods-cultivated approach, with about 200 roots contained in one dried pound. Nevertheless, there are genetic considerations to keep in mind when commercial seed (purchased seed that originates from a nursery or farm—produced at a location distant from the planting site) is used for planting efforts. Take another soil test in late winter and if the calcium levels are under 2,000 pounds per acre, add about 50 lbs. An average germination rate is 75 percent, meaning that approximately three out of every four seeds should become established. Look for companion plants on your forest floor like baneberry, black cohosh, blue cohosh, bloodroot, foam flower, goldenseal, jack-in-the-pulpit, jewel weed, mayapple, Solomon's seal, trillium, yellow lady's slipper, wild ginger, and different types of ferns (maidenhair, rattlesnake, Christmas). In developing enterprise budgets, revenues occur in future years; thus, their actual value may differ considerably from that of expected revenues. 80 lbs. Nor is it advisable to transplant first-year seedlings since they are often too fragile to endure the stress of handling and relocation. On favorable sites, additional seed and seedling recruitment is likely to come from existing plants as they attain reproductive age. These “pockets" can be excellent locations for establishing ginseng plantings even though the overall aspect of the area is not correct. Most commercial seed suppliers sell only stratified seeds eliminating the need to stratify; however, collected seed must either be planted immediately or stratified if planting is to be delayed for an extended period. Shipping Charge.