NTFP: ginseng

Lewis Melville lmelvill at uoguelph.ca
Tue Dec 8 08:51:11 EST 1998


: The slow-growing root, once harvested in the Northwest, is seeing a renewal of
: interest and a rapidly growing market in the United States.

	Ginseng is also mycorrhizal (VAM). One shouldn't forget to 
mention that when grown in monoculture, ginseng is very vulnerable to 
attack by root rot, especially Cylindrocarpon destructans, which can take 
out an entire crop in days, making it a very high risk crop. The disease 
vectors remain in the soil seemingly forever, and a farmer can't use the 
same patch of soil for growing ginseng once a crop has been harvested, 
because the likelihood of disease skyrockets. As a result of the disease 
risk, farmers tend to dump tons of anti-fungal chemicals onto their 
crops. It is also an extremely high maintenance crop, requiring special 
sunshading. 
Mind you, intercropping ginseng in its natural environment (Carolinian 
forest) may eliminate the need for chemicals and minimize the likelihood 
of disease. Yields go way down, though. 
cheers. lew  



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