Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE02-440.
The results of this project are contained in the Growers Guide. It is the sum of the research done prior to actual cultivation and the results found by the growers during cultivation. We were also successful at forming the growers group and giving the members seeds and planting stock to get started in the business of herb production. The growers are all committed to organic growing practices to insure premium prices in the marketplace. With this grant we are able to not only provide plantstock to get the growers started, but provide important research on medicinal herbs not commonly cultivated in West Virginia. Continuing in this tradition, the WVHG were awarded the USDA- Value Added Development Grant for $150,000 to participate in a feasible study of marketing Chinese medicinal botanicals in the U.S. We will be researching 6 different Chinese herbs in field trials starting in Spring of 2004.
Other notable results were the herbal sprays and soaks seemed to perform very well in the propagation facility and the field. No diseases of any kind occurred in the propagation facility and only reported minor outbreaks of fungal disease in the second year. From what little research data was obtained from the mulching study, straw mulch performed the best, offering the best weed suppression and moisture retention capabilities.