It looks like you dried these in the sun. If so, you really do not want to dry ginseng roots in the sun. It discolors them. Dry them slowly in a dry place on a screen with plenty of air flow.
You guys are prolly right about the way i dried them. I DID dry them in front of south facing glass door in my shop. Still puzzles me about the stress rings though.
I dryed another round of roots last year and put them on a screen rack i made and they did turn out different but they were from a different piece of land.
This will be my third year into senging and i'm addicted for life. Just something about it. I also really believe good stewardship should be practiced to a \"T\". I want my son to someday have the same thrill i get when hunting seng.
Those roots looked great before drying and as the others have suggested I bet it was the drying process you used (direct sunlight) that made the difference in the after drying results.
I dry my roots slow at room temp (around 72) in a room that has good air flow (over a air vent) and have them spread out thin on a couple of window screens.
It takes several weeks to dry completely but they always turn out good, stress rings, nice color.
The room I dry in does not even have any windows and if it did I would sure keep them away from direct sunlight while drying.
If you want to (need to) speed up the drying process, you can use a thermostat controlled forced air type heater (you can get small ones at walmart for 20-30 bucks) and have that blowing in the direction of your seng spread out on window screens.
Since the best time to sell seng is usually around Thanksgiving or just prior to Christmas there is really no rush to get it dry so I don't apply any heat to mine. The last that I harvest is usually mid to late October and it is usually nice a dry by Thanksgiving. If some of the larger roots were not quite dry yet I might consider applying some dry heat else I will just let them dry at room temp.
You should re-visit that same spot this year. Perhaps a few nice 3 or 4 prongs will be up this year that were not last year. You could try harvesting a few and dry them without sunlight exposure and find out for sureon that.