Ginseng growers learn about the latest research in the industry as tariffs continue

By  | 

MARATHON COUNTY, Wis. (WSAW) -- The ginseng annual field day took place on Thursday. It's a time for ginseng growers across the county to visit each others farms, where they learn about the latest developments in farming the crop. While the crop looks good this year it's facing many hurdles on the economic front.

More than 100 ginseng growers gathered on Thursday to study the latest research in the industry. That research is overseen by Michigan State which joined the group of growers. "Different products, different growing things and this is the day we showcase the good, the bad and the ugly." explained Bob Kaldunski, President of Wisconsin Ginseng Growers.

The crop itself is doing well despite the recent weather. "The crop doesn't look too bad right now. The crop looks good on top of the soil. We are not seeing a lot of pressure but there are pockets and areas where we are seeing some issues," said Kaldunski.

While the crop is mostly healthy the market for ginseng is facing challenges on many fronts. The trade war left the crop with a 42 percent total tax, which has slowed down the sale of the crop. Right now farmers are working to sell last year's crop while preparing to pull this year's crop out of the ground.

"The guys aren't too down beat yet. We are use to markets up and down but no it's okay," explained Kaldunski.

The ginseng that is not being sold will be stored for awhile but it only has a shelf life of a couple years. Which means growers want a solution soon. "It definitely has slowed down our sales and we are hoping for a quick solution and an end to it," said Kaldunski.