Hmm that is very odd Chieftain even more than my case of missing tops altogether,because if they where there and didnt form ? it may be a weather related problem indeed and I hope that is what it was and they produce next season,it will be interesting to see Chieftain.
Just wanted to comment on the missing top issue. I to have noticed this as a matter of fact I found one of the biiggest plants, and root, that ive ever found and it puzzled me because there was no cluster at all!! Like it never formed, but to add to the mystery I also dug three other roots in the same location that were very nice mature 3 and a 4 prongs and they had the clusters, to of them had full ripe berries on em. I actually spent 5-10 min diggin those before I even noticed the huge one growin right ther not more than 2 feet away. puzzeling and very interesting to say the least!!!
Birdnird the big 40 1/4 inch bunch we found thats posted in the thread Ginseng season open in Ky was the same way,and also around it within 2 foot where tops in tact,it is confusing and something new to me I never saw that before.
Guys, I have seen occasional mature plants that didn't produce a berry stem or berries, but never a whole patch that way like cheiftain described. I always thought that maybe they just skipped a year kinda like they do coming up at all, or that the root was struggling to get all the nutrients it needs. I don't pretend to know what the cause is, just sharing my thoughts. But again, Ive never seen a whole patch like that.