Ginseng digging season doesn’t begin until Sept. 1, but people are already beginning to search for the answer to 2019 ginseng prices. So I went ahead and posted my yearly page devoted to this topic.
So, what are the prices?
The answer to this question won’t arrive until September. In the meantime, I’ll post forecasts from dealers and buyers and let the conversations begin in the comments.
If you’re thinking of digging early to get a jump on competition- don’t. Not only is it illegal, it’s not good for the survival of this endangered plant, and it’s not good for the quality of the medicine in the roots. A root is best dug after the tops have finished their work for the season. For ginseng, this occurs after the berries are ripe and the tops begin to die back.
2019 Ginseng Prices and Market Forecasts
If you’re a buyer, seller, or somehow involved in the trade of ginseng, I’d love to post your thoughts about the upcoming season. I suspect the current trade situation with China will affect it some, but that was already in place last year, too. Leave your post in the comments or email me at [email protected]
From Terry Manley (IN): I believe the market for fresh roots will be strong. In the $150 to $200 range. Dry roots will be speculation for a while but I predict the starting price to be conservative. My best guess, better sections in the $500 range. But I never advise sell dry roots early. You can find Terry on Facebook or through the Indiana DNR.
From Trevor Mills (AR-KY): My prediction for OZARK ginseng at this point.
Last year: The market was weak with a small rally at the end of season bringing dry up to $425/lb.
Currently: There are riots in Hong Kong… again. Which is where most wild American ginseng goes before making its way into main China through a multitude of channels. The entire Pacific rim is in an economic slump, as is most of Europe. Germany is a major player in Europe and they are on the verge of recession. Several large national level buyers are said to be sitting on hundreds to thousands of pounds of dry ginseng from last year, further depressing the market. I expect DRY OZARK ginseng to be very difficult to move unless it is very bulby, very well dug, well handled, and all around high quality. The fresh “green” market seems strong. With good demand…so far. However, with the dry market being weak I expect large wholesale buyers to be bargain shopping. The crazy weather we have had this year will be the wild card. Fall seems to be setting in early this year. That may mean a short harvest season driving prices up. Too many variables at this point. Stay tuned for more info as buying time approaches. You can find Trevor on Facebook.
Help with Identification
If you’re new to digging, you might want to double check the identity of the plants you’re planning to dig. I can’t tell you how many folks thought they had ‘tons’ of ginseng only to find out what they had was ‘tons’ of Virginia creeper.
Just so you know, I’m not a digger or a seller. I do sell ginseng and goldenseal seedlings to the local market in spring and bare root by mail order in fall.
Wild Ozark is the only certified ginseng nursery in Arkansas. Mostly, though, my interest in ginseng is in sharing the love I have for the fragile habitat these plants love to live in, in helping others be good stewards, and in offering information to those interested in re-establishing or identifying good habitat.