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2016 Ginseng Prices from Buyers, Market Updates from Diggers


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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.


Email me at with news.
2016 Ginseng Prices were too low at the digger's level, so many diggers left their roots in the ground to grow another year.

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.


Tennessee/North Carolina

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

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Other Info

  • 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.

Click here for the ginseng rules and regs for the state of Arkansas.

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.

The problem

Ginseng harvest curiosity is increasing due to some “reality” shows that glorify poaching and grossly exaggerate root prices.

The solution

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.

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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.

Paperback cover for 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.

47 thoughts on “2016 Ginseng Prices from Buyers, Market Updates from Diggers”

    1. I am not sure, never heard of black roots. I’ll pass your question on to my friends in the trade and see if they can shed some light on this. Thanks for posting. Maybe some of the other readers will have some info to share, too.

      1. jrwellssexyman@gmail

        As long as it is Ginsang it doesn’t matter just depends on the the ground your digging in in pineville v dug black red brown es yellow root s and just really don’t matter

    2. One response came from a dealer – he thinks it might be mis-identification or fungus. Do you want to send a photo to me and I’ll post it on the page (anonymously is okay) for more feedback? If so, send to and I’ll take a look and maybe some others out there will have some ideas too.

    3. This just in from the other dealer friend: I think the black soil could sometimes make it seem black, but I don’t know of any variety of ‘black ginseng’. Are there any photos??

    1. Hi Allen, I don’t usually keep the info on people who email me tips but if I can find the email from him I’ll forward your question to him. Unless someone specifies that it’s okay to do it, or unless they’ve contacted me for buying/selling and I need to put them in touch with dealers I know, I don’t share their contact info. Hopefully, if I don’t have Derek’s original email, he’ll see this comment and reply to you!

    1. Hi Anthony, there is a smaller ginseng that grows in the northeastern states that does look a lot different. I’m not familiar with this species. The ginseng that grows wild in the Ozarks and the Appalachians look pretty similar to each other. Ginseng from Wisconsin and the states more north do look a bit different to me, with longer stalks for the flowers/berries, more robust and bigger plants and roots. It’s one of my dreams to be able to travel to all the ginseng producing states to see for myself how they look and build my own comparison photos, though. All I have right now to go on are the photos I’ve seen of ginseng in other areas. I’d also like to see data from genetic profiles of each variety. Even though they have the same genus/species names, I think there are differences genetically between the ones that grow in different locales.

  1. I’m from Cecilia ky have a good buddy who buys an 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

      1. My name is Elvy form portland OR. I’m looking for some good dry roots this every year. Can you please contract me by email and also send me some pictures? I’ll willing pay more for those good roots. Thank you!

  2. The prices this year are not worth anyone’s time us diggers do this for the money and it’s alot of walking and hard work . We want more than $300.00 for dry.

    1. That’s right we do all the work and the buyers only want to give u so much . I won’t sell mine for that!!

      1. To be fair, the buyers have a overhead and take sometimes significant risk when they are buying early in the season if they don’t have a ready market to sell it on. The problem this year is that there’s too much already stockpiled from last year’s buys and not enough markets to sell it on to. So they can’t afford to risk much by offering too much to buy from diggers this year. I would just leave mine in the ground when prices are this low so they could continue to grow and produce seeds.

  3. Like I said I’m from Cecilia ky an it’s the same situation hear green only my dad says there’s he’s been selling dry 30 years wats so diff this year ..only diff is more money for them an if they say only green that’s wat they get BC it’s a diggers part time job an they no there gonna gain just as much plus some I no my buddy buys hear for 300 pound green he sold all his green for 600 a pound an the China wanted him to dry it wen the check was wrote idk makes lil cents

  4. Hi. Just got into looking for wild ginseng last year. Had a question not related to buying/selling and one that is, if that’s okay here. Does anyone know if you can eat too much of the ginseng (tops or roots) fresh or dry? We eat a root or two sometimes lol, and usually eat the tops when we go, was wondering about that. And does anyone know if some ginseng roots that are dried, but were picked and dried about 20-30 years ago would still be good, worth selling, worth more, worth less, etc.? Thank you. 🙂 Any insight into any of this would be appreciated. Can send emails to . Namaste! 🙂

    1. Hi Celia, I haven’t seen anything mentioned about how much is too much, but I’m sure there can be “too much of a good thing”, lol. My son dug for the first time a few years ago and while he was out he ate “a few” roots. He said he didn’t sleep for two days and his heart felt like it was going to pound out of his chest. I’d advise restraint 😉 If I find any studies or research mentions on this topic I’ll try to remember to post them. Thanks for the question.

      I believe it would be illegal for a buyer to purchase your roots from previous years. Not sure about that, but I think at least here in AR, it has to be dug and sold the same year’s season. As far as worth, that would depend on how it was stored, I’d think. But it seems after a few years it might begin to lose potency. Have you tasted it? If it’s still bitter, then it still at least has ginsenosides, the active ingredient most desired, I’d think.

    2. K.D. Pritts, author, Ginseng ... North America's Forest Gold

      I have a Pennsylvania ginseng dealer’s license. I buy dried ginseng regardless of when it was harvested. Dried ginseng roots continues to dry through years of storage, but the ginsenosides are supposed to stay locked in once it is dried. I have one large root that I harvested in 1993. It is feather-light now. If you can get the price you want in the year of harvest, sell. I typically hold roots over from prior years until I get the price I want from my contacts. In Pennsylvania, it is up to the licensed dealer to do the paperwork. For what it’s worth – diggers just dig, conserve, and have fun. No matter what, the pencil pushers can’t take the fun out of hunting ginseng!

        1. Hi Madison, my name is Elvy He. I’m a ginseng buyer form Portland OR. I’m looking for buying some wild dry roots form dealers. Do you have any suggestion or referral? Thank you so much!

          1. Hi Elvy, I’ll be happy to pass along your information to my dealer contacts. Thanks for posting! If you’re on the wildgrown forums, you might want to mention you’ve posted some replies to some of the others here. I’m not sure how often anyone checks back to see comments added but I know some of them came here from there.

  5. I need to find out how much ginseng is a pound in Va ..I have about 2 in a half Pds ..I weight it already and still have some drying

  6. K.D. Pritts, author, Ginseng ... North America's Forest Gold

    American ginseng is American ginseng no matter where it grows. There are slight variations in the height of the seed umbel and the amount, or lack thereof, of purple color in the stems. There is not enough difference to have a subspecies. The only close relative to American ginseng in the Northeastern U.S. is Panax trifolious, commonly called dwarf ginseng. It is small but has the same shape of American ginseng – three leaves with five leaflets on each leaf and a seed umbel arising from the center of the leaves. The root is always bulbous in shape, but small. I’ve often wondered if it would be possible to cross the two and get a large bulbous root to become common in American ginseng. Dwarf ginseng has been found to have ginsenosides in the leaves and root typical of Panax. Fresh dwarf ginseng is sometimes used by mountain folk in Pennsylvania to make tea or tincture, but it takes a lot of the small fresh roots to produce any real quantity.

    1. An interest of mine is genetic variability among ginseng populations according to location. Studies show that each distinct location where ginseng naturally occurs has distinct genetic profiles. So maybe not separate species, but definitely distinct genetic profiles. Here’s one of the studies on the topic: – Distinct populations observed (Lim et al. 1997), natural populations
      genetically distinct from cultivated (Schluter and Punja 2002, Boehm et al.1999), and here’s the link to that study for anyone else who may be interested in this:


      It’s also important to the genetic quality of the colonies themselves to leave several of the older, reproducing plants intact (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21653409).

      This is why I generally recommend people not harvest all the older plants, and if they’re going to plant with bought seeds, use seeds that came from their local areas. But this is not necessarily going to do a whole lot of good when it’s sometimes difficult to tell where the purchased seed originated.

      I’m still trying to interpret what all the studies mean and have drawn some conclusions based on the parts of it I thought I understood, so if you have any light to shed on it, I’d appreciate it! I’ll be trying to contact some of the authors to see if they’ll communicate with me soon.

  7. 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.

  8. I’m in Lafayette, Indiana and my buyer isn’t buying. Do you know who is buying? I would like someone relatively close.

  9. I’m currently in nyc right now. If anyone is interested of selling roots. We could do this over ebay. Selling fees on me. Thanks.

    1. I would think that it would still be illegal for someone outside of NY to ship roots across state lines without a permit, or dealer’s license or certification of some sort.

  10. Hi there! I am located in south florida and am interested in purchasing ginseng root. You can email me at soflacasting*@gmail.com
    Thank you 🙂

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