An economic analysis of an American ginseng growing operation in a woodlot in Janetville, Ontario
Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry
DisciplineNatural Resources Management
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American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) has been valued for centuries as a medicine, particularly in Asian cultures. It is highly valuable, and as a result it has been poached to endangered levels throughout much of its range. This thesis first reviews the ecology, history, market, cultivation methods and legality of ginseng in Ontario. Second, a business plan for growing and selling ginseng in southern Ontario is presented. This plan shows that American ginseng can be a profitable, long-term crop, and that, when grown as a crop, it can increase the value of private forested land in Ontario versus other crops. Finally, the results of the business plan were compared with a similar study done in New Zealand, where ginseng was grown beneath radiata pine (Pinus radiata D.Don.) plantations. The conclusion of this thesis is that American ginseng has excellent potential as a woodlot crop in southern Ontario.