Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has asked federal agriculture officials to declare a disaster in Langlade and Lincoln counties after a late snowstorm severely damaged the area’s ginseng crop.
Four inches of snow fell on May 7, collapsing shade coverings that protect the light-sensitive ginseng from the sun. Many plants died in freezing temperatures that followed.
Wisconsin produces 95 percent of the domestic ginseng crop. Most of it comes out of Marathon, Langlade and Lincoln counties. Doyle’s office says the state’s ginseng farmers harvested 400,000 pounds of ginseng worth about $10 million in 2007, the latest year data is available.
A disaster declaration would permit farmers to apply for emergency loans and crop insurance payments.
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