The 2016 ginseng prices is a discussion and information page for diggers, growers, and dealers/buyers. Prices discussed on this page are from diggers and dealer/buyers- wholesale- NOT retail prices.
Click here for more information on buying retail wild American ginseng. Retail prices on ginseng are higher than digger/dealer levels.
Ginseng Digging Season
Yes, ginseng has a season just like hunting deer or other game. It begins September 1 and ends in Dec. 1. Beginning the second week in the season, diggers bring their dried roots to “buyers” or “dealers”, who then sell it on to larger buyers who are often exporters.
In 2016, many diggers/growers chose to leave their roots in the ground to grow another year because the buying prices were so low.
2016 Ginseng Prices Updates are in order by state then date
10-24-16 Buyer Update for AR & MO (Mills Ginseng): Due to issues unrelated to the market, no longer buying any roots at this time.
9-6-16 Buyer Update for AR & MO (Mills Ginseng): Only buying green. Grading very hard. $120/lb for large/old well dug roots, $105/lb for average well dug roots, $50/lb for small,broken, gouged roots. 8/31/16 Buyer Update from AR & MO: Arkansas: September 15th 2016 Missouri: September 1rst 2016 (Must meet in Missouri, unless previously certified) I will start buying fresh “green” ginseng at $105.00/pound for average well dug ginseng. I will buy large/old green ginseng at $120/pound. Small, broken, busted, gouged green roots will be $50.00/pound.
Due to the terrible condition of the dry market I will not be buying dry ginseng at this time, unless it is VERY nice. This may change, but stands for now. – Trevor Mills
9-16-16 central IL: $325 to 345 for dry seng. $90 to 100 for wet seng….Dealer Ron
9-7-16 southern Indiana: I called my buyer in southern Indiana and to start off wet: $95 a lb and dry: $345 a lb. – anonymous
9-1-16 from west/central Indiana – Talked to my buyer in west central Indiana he’s buying wet from $95-$110 and will starting at $320 dry on Saturday. – Dustin
9-1-16 from southern Indiana – I’m from southern Indiana, about 70 miles south of Indianapolis. I talked with 2 buyers today that were offering 80 dollars a pound wet and 300 dollars/lb dry for ginseng. – Mike
9-17-16 from KY: I’m from Cecilia KY, have a good buddy who buys and sells, give top dollar. he is giving $200 pound green not sure on dry but will let u no his name in hidden valley herbs – Joe
8/30/16 From KY: I’ve spoken with three different buyers and they are saying dry will top out around 400 if we are lucky. Said it would be worst prices in last decade. I hope things change. Poachers have depleted it and since Appalachian outlaws. No permits for national forests this year.(Daniel Boone) It’s the beginning of the en d for many years I predict.
9-1-16 from TNA Ginseng in PA: As usual, they are offering premium prices for premium roots, even if they are adjusted downward for the market this year. Green ranges $150-700/lb, dry from $450-1300+ for very fine roots.
11-9-16 E. TN & NC: Hey Madison.with all the doom and gloom this season I thought the diggers could use a little positive news.I’m seeing dry prices finally creeping up to 600-625 lb for good root.still tough for smaller 5-8 yr roots.not as good as past yrs but Im almost certain we will see 725 around Thanksgiving due to fact that there isn’t much dry this year because most people sold green.These prices are for east tn& nc lower elevations bringing lower prices of course.good luck to everyone on their sales,hope we get well rewarded for all our hard work. – Bob
11-14-16 Reply: I have called around and am getting much lower prices would you be willing to give me the dealers number or name? – Shane
9-3-16 from TN: update on green prices in east TN. Good average is at 130 lb.and if it’s really nice can bring 145. – Bob
VA– 09-16-16: I’ve checked one dealer today in Southwest VA. $80 lb green and $300 lb dry.
8/5/15 I have family member who buys and sells wild Ginseng in Southern WV. Another long time friend of mine who is also in the business. They both informed me that Ginseng will probably start out at around $175-$225 dollars a pound wet (Sept. 1st) and from $500-$750 per pound dry once they begin buying it mid September. Traveling an hour or so from my small town can usually bring you an extra $20 per pound and have seen it bring in close to $75 dollars more per pound. Also I spoke to one of the guys earlier and he informed me that he expects a substantial leap in price per pound near the middle-end of digging season followed by a slight drop near the end. – Derek Adkins, about 1.5 hrs from Charleston, WV
Love American ginseng? Maybe you’ll love to have one of my posters!
- Diggers can’t dig except between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1. That’s is the legal digging season (at least here in Arkansas).
- Dealers can begin buying dried roots Sept. 15.
- In Arkansas all dealers have to quit buying by April 1 and get their inventory certified. No buyer can buy or sell roots (in AR) between April 1 and September 15.
A note from the Paul Shell, Arkansas State Plant Board:
The sustainability of ginseng is the only reason it is still allowed to be harvested/exported. It is regulated by USFWS and the states in which it grows in enough abundance to allow for harvest. We are on the southern end of the range and it can struggle in our hot dry summers, as well as timber harvesting, loss of habitat etc. If USFWS and state regulatory agencies feel that the population of wild ginseng is threatened, they can change the regulations concerning harvest and export. It could even get to the point where no export of ginseng is allowed.
Ginseng harvest curiosity is increasing due to some “reality” shows that glorify poaching and grossly exaggerate root prices.
So, while there may be more people looking for roots, we need to educate them on the proper methods of sustainable harvest – season of digging 9/1 to 12/1, age of plants – 5 or more years, three or more prongs, red berries replanted on site, and prohibition of digging ginseng on any state or federal land. Many landowners are also planting ginseng seed obtained legally from ginseng seed growers. Conscientious landowners can do sustainable ginseng harvest and even supplement their plants by planting more seeds in the ground (2 cm deep recommended). – Paul Shell, Arkansas State Plant Board
7/6/16 – Forecast rumblings I’ve heard is that prices will open very low in AR this year because of economic issues overseas and an oversupply of dried roots already in exporter storage. Please comment if you have anything to add.
Past Price Indexes
This 2016 ginseng prices page is closed now. Watch this space for links to the 2017 ginseng prices.
Other Ginseng Info
All of the posts that mention American ginseng can be found under the category: American Ginseng. I have books on ginseng available through Amazon or you can mail order them through Wild Ozark’s online shop (still under construction, but some items are listed now).
Trouble with look-alikes?
I have a handy identification guide book just for helping folks tell the difference between ginseng and the ginseng look-alikes.
Need seedlings to plant?
We are a certified ginseng nursery, so I have seedlings that I start in seedbeds then sell or transplant out into the woods as wild-simulated. When you transplant in the first year or two, it is impossible to tell the difference at harvest time which are true wild and which are wild-sim.
The Wild Ozark Nature Boutique & Nursery will have ginseng seedlings (in pots) from May through October, available for local pick-up, or bare-root plants from October through end of November to be shipped anywhere in the US.
These often sell out in late spring, so if you want to reserve yours now and are willing to pay for your plants ahead of time, email me at for an invoice and I’ll mark yours and set them aside now.
Locals can pick up their orders in May and outliers will get shipped in October. Potted seedlings are $5/ea, bare-root $3/ea plus shipping.