Prices for Ginseng up, Harvests Down

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- An unexpected snowfall in 2010 has put a dent in the ginseng crop in Wisconsin where the majority of the medicinal root is grown in the U.S.

The snowfall took its toll on plants that have since matured and are now being harvested. Prices of ginseng are up because of the shortage forecast. Foreign buyers are making their way to Marathon County where most of Wisconsin's crop is grown.

Stanley Chen and his brother, Scott Chen, from Taiwan, plan to spend the next two weeks visiting ginseng gardens in central Wisconsin. The Chens, like other buyers, are purchasing roots right out of the field, to ensure they have a supply.

Joe Heil, farms ginseng in Cassel, said one of his gardens yielded 60 percent less than last year.

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