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Decreased Ginseng Harvest Not Cause For Concern Yet, According To DNR

By Bente Bouthier, IPB News | Published on in Agriculture, Business
Bente Bouthier photo.

Last year’s harvest of Indiana ginseng weighed in at just over 2,500 pounds – a drop from more than 3,500 pounds in 2019 and 3,600 pounds in 2018.
That’s according to records kept by the Indiana DNR’s Ginseng Coordinator Laura Minzes, who says the market for Indiana’s ginseng got off to a
slow start during the pandemic. “The price fluctuates, especially with COVID right now.”

The ginseng harvest season starts September 1 and ends in March. Minzes says at the start of last season, the root was going for $3.50 per pound. By
the end of season, it was selling for $6.50 a pound. Minzes expects it to get off to a stronger start this year.  “Actually I expect it to be less influenced than it was last year. I
expect the market to be a little more steady from the get-go, whereas last year was way more tentative.”

She says the Indiana DNR enforces a harvest season and other regulations to protect its wild crop of ginseng from going extinct. She adds that the smaller
recent harvest does not indicate that Indiana’s ginseng is decreasing.