I started out that way also.The extra cash is even nice at times.I'm no where close to you guys (growers) it's not even concidered income here.To me it's about the hunt.A day in the woods is better to me than a day at the beach.
Now that I'm getting back into it (seng)I'm gonna start growing also.If i put money into something,I would want to at least break even.I'm am sure My point of view will change when I get some beds going. Doing all that work for someone else.Yep that would get me going.
Like Gware said people have to get off the couch first.Every time I run into someone in the woods,they are always older than I am.I'm 42.I think most people/poachers have been around awhile and not going away anytime soon...
I'm with you all on this one. If the price were $800 instead of $400 then even if half of the ginseng got poached, we'd break even.
In fairness of argument, though, I think Dr. Persons was also thinking of the effect higher prices would have on regulations. In the sense that more people like us would grow it, total ginseng exports would climb, and natural resource managers might mistakenly conclude that pressure on the wild plants had increased. In this case its easy to imagine more restrictive regulation, if not an outright ban on ginseng exports. With the recent prohibition to dig ginseng in Virginia's national forests as an example, I really wonder if potentially changing regulations are scaring off would-be big time growers.
I believe this is a good argument that as wild-simulated ginseng growers it will ultimately become necessary for us to organize as 1 voice and make sure that we are not left out in the cold based upon the situation of wild ginseng. We are providing the land, labor seed and all associated costs to grow our ginseng. At some point we will need representation as growers, and laws will need to be amended to accomandate our enterprises. We are the ones that are contributing to the sustainability of ginseng in the United States. I know that the state of tennessee currently does not recognize wild-simulated ginseng as a category and so it is considered wild. It is a slippery slope we are walking on.
I agree w/ Latt and others assessment. I'll add this. Something else to consider is that there is an all to large a group in acedemia that would love to see the digging of seng stopped altogether. I read an article where the author was trying to push the idea and said that seng was endangered in the northeast and should be put on endangered species list. He said that there was only something like 15 sites of wild seng here in Vt. That's just flat out BS! I know of a minimum of 30 spots and I'm sure there are hundreds if not thousands more here in the state.
All I am suggesting is to be aware that this sentament is out there. They all believe in acedemia that they are far more intellegent than you and you need to shut up and listen to them! Truth doesn't matter to these people and they will say anything to support there side of things. There is conservationists, which I consider myself, and than there is radical environmentalists. Just be aware of hidden agendas!
I'd be more worried about a glut on the market resulting from high prices, than poachers.
Given the multiyear nature of ginseng growing, the market can't respond quickly to rise in demand. It's not like you can plant a bunch in the spring, and get salable roots in the fall. Current high prices will result in a lot of new plots being planted, and those plots will come onto the market in 4 or 5 years. So prices may spike upward, but in a few years, it can come back down due to the old rule of supply and demand.
Welcome to the exciting world of international commodities, it's a very volatile market.
It's important to keep this in mind with any sort of planning - just because the price rose last year doesn't mean it will rise the same amount or more next year. A glut on the market, a hiccup in the Asian economies (and there are subtle signs that all is not well with the Chinese economy), and that high price could come right back down.
Me? I started out with visions of profit in my head, but after a couple of years, it's now more a determination to see what it takes to get this persnickety plant to thrive. For sure, I'm not planning on a huge cash windfall, though I'll take one if it's available.