Planting Ginseng In NC Fall Of 08
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My New Grandson Alex
I Travel From Mi. to St. Louis Mo. and From There To NC where I have a Dealers Lic. and There is Some Gold Mining Going On There.
"Have Seeds Will
Cost For This Maintenance Service Is $1500.00 To $2500.00 Per Hundred Weight, Depending On Mileage From Houghton Lake Michigan
Growing Ginseng and Retiring in 5 Years
What do I need to make it happen?
by, Michael Hunter
You need at least a 10-acre wood lot, preferably maple woodlot. General good indicator out here is if that was a farm at one time or another, especially an old dairy farm. In Michigan your soils pretty compatible, most other states too.
What are we going to work with here? We’re going to put 100 pounds of ginseng in on a ten-acre property. Your going to open up about two thousand yards of beds which works out to about 2 and ½ acres in the planting. With the recent change from U.S. Fish and Wildlife they have lowered the required export age from 10 years to five years on wild and wild simulated.
We’re going to plant 100 pounds in there. We’re working with a five year crop looking at a 10 year program, the basic idea 100 pounds of seed we get 90 per cent germination. You’re starting with around 720 thousand seeds. An old rule of thumb from commercial growers under artificial shade they get about 4 to 5 thousand pounds of roots from an acre of commercial planting and they put in about 100 pounds of seed to do it.
Those mathematics don’t make much sense to me. Realistically, if you plant 720 thousand seeds you can, in 5 years think about 4-5 hundred thousand plants. The potential is there. What are these plants worth in these markets? About $2.80 to $4.50 each.
Other things to think about in your 5-year program. In your 4th year these start to develop full seedpods. And if you’ve had a good crop you could even be looking at the idea of a thousand pound yield off a woods grown plantation, 25 to 30 dollars a pound, that’s recuperating your initial cost. Hold back 100 pounds you’ll be wanting it and get it stratified.
The following year, your fifth year, you’re also going to have a nice seed crop. Hold back a 100 pounds right there, yours pick your roots right after you pick your seeds. Assuming that you have an assured market for your roots In this kind of situation I know of several good buyers who would come right out in the woods and deal for this and probably would prefer to buy it that way. You harvest your ginseng crop, ginseng really doesn’t do good right over the places where it was grown before. How ever, you’ve only utilized about ¼ of your acreage. These beds that I’ve put in we kind of wiggle around through the trees with the atv and the seeder and you harvest your crop out of there in 5 years, you can take that 100 pounds of stratified seed immediately and plant another twenty five percent or another 2 and ½ acres. You on your next year you can replant that other 100 pounds in there and you’ll pretty well utilize the entire 10 acres.
You should also be looking that in 4 years another seed crop coming and in 5 years another commercial large crop coming, and then you’ll have another commercial large crop coming the year after that. 11 years all told you’ll have the potential in there to very easily grow a million and a half plants and still grow quality ginseng at the same time.
Now a well-blended forestry program is very important in here. You also want to look at the concept of growing veneer quality timber at the same time your growing your ginseng crop.
It is my intention to plant 5 of these commercial crops per year for the next 5 years. I’ll be 71 years old then and I will be ready to retire. In the next 5 years, depending on my personal involvement will leave some seed crops for many years to come.
I’m getting along in my years trying to open up some doors for the newer people to step in.
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