Hugh, do you think that bigger plant has relatively few berries because it was not pollinated well? I dug down a little to look at the neck, it's over 15 years. Conversely I've seen some younger ones that had massive berry pods. I'm just thinking what timing and coverage does for pollination in the orchards.
That's a hard one to answer. I think that I see that more than almost anybody on this board because of hot dry weather. It seems like we get to a point every year that pollination just cuts off and the larger , older plants do a little better than the younger ones. I doubt that would be the problem in your area. Some experts say the ginseng plant is self pollinating and yet we know the little wasp and sweat bees works the berry pods and helps to set fruit. A 15 year old plant should not have a problem setting a full berry pod, but it is rare for me to see one , even in the mountains. When I look at the full berry pods of Hill's plants and the big fields of shade grown plants in Wisconsin and Canada, it makes me think it has to be a nutritional thing. Maybe we'll know some day.
I received this email this morning from the TNA Wild Ginseng Co. here in Pa.
\"Each year started September we offer highest price of the season for long neck green wild ginseng. With neck 2.5-4 inches and 15 grams of weight and up. We will pay $400-500 per lbs green. Equal 1600 -2000 (4 lbs green equal one lbs dry) per lbs dry. We can also buy Green roots not over 2.5 inches, price depend on the age of the roots. Will do our best offer you higher then market price
Please do not wash the green roots. gently clean the dirt with brush. Storage in a container with lid then put in the refrigerator with 38-40 degree.\"
I had very few berries on my plants this year. Like 90% less. It is weird because in 15 years of growing I have never seen this. One thing I have noticed is less and less insects this year. I do a lot of macro video and photography so I am always out on my land looking for new subjects.