Study Provides Insight on Ginseng Forest Farming

Penn State researchers surveyed ginseng sellers confidentially over eight years to help determine the extent to which forest farming and planting of commercially acquired seeds may contribute to wild ginseng harvest amounts. The survey results indicated that more sellers are “forest farming” ginseng by scattering seeds in forests on private land in Pennsylvania. Use of this practice seems to be increasing ginseng production in those areas, which can alleviate pressure on wild ginseng populations. However, some of the seeds used are obtained commercially from other locations, and the researchers are concerned that planting them in the wild could weaken the wild ginseng germplasm in those areas.