Late Storm a Disaster for Wisconsin Ginseng Growers

May 20, 2010

A late snowstorm was a disaster for Wisconsin’s ginseng growers.

Joe Heil, president of the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin, told Wisconsin Public Radio the damage from a May 7 storm was much higher than the $15 million the crop generates in annual sales. And he says some farmers may go out of business without federal disaster aid.

America is third in world ginseng production behind Canada and China. Wisconsin produces 95 percent of the U.S. crop, with almost all of it grown in Marathon County.

Across the county, acre after acre of ginseng fields and their characteristic tents are disarray, with poles bent over and tarps down because of the heavy wet snow and hard freeze.

Without help, Heil says, Wisconsin could lose its place in the world ginseng market.

Information from: Wisconsin Public Radio

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