(08/30/2018)
Ginseng harvest season is arriving in West Virginia.

The ginseng season began September 1 and runs through November 30, 2018.

Ginseng diggers and sellers are likely facing a new money threat.

The trade spat between the U.S. and China is not just about high tech and manufacturing. The scope of the war has also quietly reached agriculture, with both countries wanting to protect their own farmers. Beijing announced plans to slap up to 25% tariffs on 128 U.S. agricultural goods, totaling some $3 billion of exports, ranging from fruits, wine, and ginseng to pork.

The move was retaliation for Washington's decision to impose high tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum.

U.S. ginseng, which attracted 7.8% tariffs before April, is now facing 22.8% duty after adding the additional 15% announced by the Chinese government.

The WV State Department of Commerce says that by law, only ginseng plants with three or more prongs are old enough to harvest. The number indicates the plant's age.

Diggers have until March 31 to sell the roots to a state-registered ginseng dealer.

That's also the deadline for diggers who don't sell their ginseng to obtain a weight receipt from the Division of Forestry allowing them to possess ginseng from April 01 through August 31.

Ginseng must be certified before leaving the state.

Only registered dealers can obtain proper certification to transport ginseng across state lines.

Ginseng root is thought to have medicinal properties, and has sold for hundreds of dollars a pound.


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