at 70 to 80 plants per pound on ginseng thats only 6 yr old, your going to get skinned. Remember its only worth what someone wants to give, and you should only expect to get sweat equity from it.
We learned this last year
Now heres the way that I see it, If you want to maximize your profits, sell a value added product, heres how
1. Get a dealers Liscense.
2. There are some folks in wisconsin that sell seed for 120 a pound,
3. Package 1 pound of those cheap seed mark them up to about 150 a pound first, with about 80 plants (rootlets) 5yr old and sell them as premium select wondermusthave rootlets then sell the whole kit and kaboodle bundle package for 650.
I think you will do good, those roots look 10X better than the carrots being sold elsewhere.
Age is probably the biggest concern. Even if you listed it as woodsgrown they want it at least 8 to 12 years of age. Longer necks is one of the added values.
At 8 years old maybe 450 to $500 a dried lb.
I will admit that's a little lower than expected but not awful either at 7 or 8 years old. 12 years just seems to long to maintain the way I have for the last five years. Time, expense and labor starts whittling the profits down to where its the same as working a regular job....maybe less after nature has her way.. We'll see how it goes I guess but, it is what is and you can't make the market do what you want it to. I'll give it a try before too many years and see how it comes out. If nothing else it will give me and everyone else something to actually compare the economics and see if they want to engage in growing for profit or just as a hobby.
I know what you're saying about waiting a few more years. It really is rolling the dice and the worry.
The green market last year done better than the dry. You could contact a dealer that you really trust and try a few lbs. of green this season. Just to see what it might bring.
Maybe get your license where you might try selling to the bigger dealers in other states.
Of course you have probably already considered all that?
I figure 5 years is too young but im looking to do something around year seven. The Koreans are really pushing the large,fresh root market so you may be right.
Its hard to say who wants what...
Last year I revealed to a Chinese restaurant owner who is a friend of mine a dried root about half the size of a golf ball and had a 3\" age neck. I would think that is ideal of what one would desire. He said it was too small and it should be more old, that was the day after I had taken the pic of those two roots that are shown in this thread. I still had them in the truck so I went and got one and brought it back in. He was more satisfied with my 4 year old root than that 20 something year old root just because of the size (it was the one in the left of my hand). Long story short, I traded that root for two plates and two drinks at his buffet that night. About a $19 dollar value for a fresh 1/2 ounce four year old root lol... go figure
Unfortunately, I liked it better green. As far as I can tell from that picture, there is little wild character which I thought might become more pronounced with drying. I had also hoped that the larger root wouldn't dry out so thin. As it is, it would be pickout for sure because of its shape, young age, and lack of wild character.