Ginseng harvest in Missouri has declined in recent years. There is concern that this trend is due to overharvest. If the trend continues, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) may no longer allow Missouri ginseng to be sold to other countries.
The following regulation changes are being considered to ensure that Missouri ginseng harvests will be sustainable through the future.
$20 Resident Ginseng Harvest Permit
$150 Non-resident Ginseng Harvest Permit
$200 Ginseng Dealer Permit
WHY? To provide better information about how much ginseng is being harvested and to improve the enforcement of harvest regulations.
Harvest permits will:
Currently, ginseng dealers in Missouri are required to register with MDC and provide quarterly reports of all ginseng transactions and annual inventory reports. This information is required by the USFWS before Missouri-harvested ginseng can be allowed to leave the US. Current regulations have resulted in challenges with enforcing the Wildlife Code of Missouri.
Permit fees to harvest and deal (buy for resale) ginseng provide funding support and improve enforcement of state and federal regulations. Permits will also provide needed information for setting regulations that will ensure ginseng can be harvested in the future.
WHY? Roots harvested from planted ginseng known as “woods grown” or “wild simulated” cannot be distinguished from wild roots. As nearly all Missouri-harvested ginseng is reported as wild, this regulation change will have little to no impact to the industry and this change will simplify harvest regulations.
WHY? Seed collection is not currently allowed in the Wildlife Code of Missouri, yet this activity may enhance populations of wild ginseng while also providing some income for private landowners who are interested in selling ginseng seed.
Ginseng is a long-lived perennial species. Unlike harvesting the roots, collecting seed does not harm the plant. Planting seeds nearby and in a similar habitat can improve chances of germination since seeds will be in contact with bare soil and less likely to be eaten by animals.
WHY? Other states already require harvested ginseng to have a certification of origin form prior to export. If harvested ginseng brought to Missouri has not been certified, it’s in violation of regulations enforced by other states.
WHY? Currently only ginseng dealers with a Missouri business address are required to have a Missouri Dealer License. Allowing dealers registered in other states to buy and sell ginseng in Missouri without a license gives them an unfair advantage. Additionally, with no requirement to report quarterly transactions and inventory, they are not accountable for ginseng purchased and sold in Missouri.
WHY? Uncertified root bought and sold between dealers leads to double reporting because it is impossible to know if the ginseng has already been reported or not. This double reporting creates inaccurate harvest totals. Certification numbers with each batch of ginseng sold and bought between dealers will ensure that each batch is counted only once.
WHY? According to USDA/APHIS regulations, all ginseng root leaving the US must be accompanied by a valid certification of origin form. When certified batches of ginseng are divided, the certification of origin form no longer reflects the amount of ginseng it accompanies, and portions of the batch end up with an invalid photocopy of the certification of origin form.
WHY? An increase in the number of online sales for small amounts of ginseng and higher market values for green (wet) root have led to an increase in certification requests. In addition, imposed restrictions on divisible certification weights and dealer-to-dealer transactions will lead to more requests. The certification fee will fund the time and travel of the conservation agent to process the certifications.
WHY? To improve accuracy and make the reporting process faster and easier, and to reduce the use of paper.