Ginseng Crop Update – April 25, 2014

This is the first Ginseng Crop Update of the 2014 growing season. As with last year, Ginseng Crop Updates will be provided on an irregular basis throughout the summer as new issues or announcements occur. Ginseng growers can receive blog post notifications using three methods.

1. Growers can subscribe directly to the blog. They will receive a notification each time a new article is posted. This will include any articles on specialty crops, not just ginseng. To subscribe to the blog directly, scroll down the right column of the blog and click on “Sign me up!” under the “Email Subscription” section.

2. Growers can sign up for the weekly Specialty Crop Update email, which includes a list of the blog posts for the previous week broken down by crop. This will avoid multiple emails throughout the week, but will also mean notification of a new article may be delayed by up to a week. To sign up for the weekly email, email Jacquie DeFields at and ask to subscribe to the Specialty Crop Update emails.

3. You can also follow us on twitter (@ONspecialtycrop) to receive updates when a new article on ginseng is posted.

A limited number of growers and companies still receive the Ginseng Crop Update by fax. We will continue to fax these clients. However, we no longer accept new subscriptions by fax, and are trying to phase out this format. If you currently receive faxes and no longer need the fax format, please notify Jacquie DeFields at Please note: if faxes do not go through several weeks in a row, the number will be removed from our list.

Crop Update

The cold spring has resulted in very slow progress in ginseng emergence. Emergence will likely be a week or two later than last year, which was a few weeks later than in 2012. Given the late emergence and the cold spring, it may be a good year to delay pulling the shade over the crop, except in fields with particular microclimates and faster emergence. While the risk of additional snow is low, growers should be aware of the potential for a late spring snowfall. Measurable snow has been recorded well into May in previous years, but it has been many years since that has occurred. Hopefully we can look forward to more normal weather patterns this year.

Here are some things to look out for this year:

Impacts of Winter Weather:

Examining the period from November to April, this winter was one of the coldest on record. Consistent snow cover probably limited the impacts of this on ginseng, and no particular issues are anticipated. However, there may be effects (either positive or negative) on the severity of certain pests and diseases. For example, delayed emergence increases the potential that the unfolding of tender leaf tissues could coincide with warmer and more humid weather than in previous years, which would provide a more suitable environment for the development of foliar diseases. As always, fields should be scouted closely for pest issues.


The Ginseng Scout Training Workshop (formerly the Ginseng Garden Walker Workshop) will be held Thursday, May 15 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in the Simcoe Station boardroom. To register please call the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.

Changes to Fumigation Rules:

In September 2014, the new rules for fumigation will come into effect. These rules apply to all conventional soil fumigants registered on ginseng including Chloropicrin, Vapam, Busan and Basamid. More details on these changes will be provided on this blog over the summer, but growers need to think about preparing for the new rules now. The new rules will include specific requirements for worker training, fumigation management plans, signage, buffer zones, monitoring the site after fumigation, and protective gear.


The Ontario Ginseng Growers Association has received funding under the Ontario Farm Innovation Program to conduct on-farm trials on replant disease, survey sites fumigated with different fumigants in 2012 and examine roots for diseases at those sites, and conduct a literature review. The OGGA is also hoping to conduct extensive research on replant disease, pending the approval of research funding. We are looking for growers to participate in surveys and on-farm research trials. Growers participating in on-farm trials and surveys will lose a small amount of root for sampling, but will gain detailed diagnostics of the diseases present on their farm at a higher value than the lost root. We are especially interested to hear of any attempts at replanting ginseng, as we would like to extensively monitor these sites over time. If you would be interested in participating in a trial or a survey, contact the Ontario Ginseng Growers Association. Updates on the progress of research will be provided throughout the summer.

About Sean Westerveld

Ginseng and Medicinal Herbs Specialist, OMAFRA
This entry was posted in Ginseng, Ginseng Meetings, Ginseng Other, Ginseng Pest Management, Ginseng Production and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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