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Va. ginseng regulation up for hearing Thursday

Thursday - 3/28/2013, 4:10am  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- State agriculture officials want to hear from the public on a proposed regulation aimed at ensuring the survival of wild ginseng in Virginia.

The Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services has scheduled a hearing for Thursday in Richmond to gather public comments.

The regulation was developed to address concerns voiced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which concluded that current practices aren't adequate to ensure ginseng's survival in Virginia.

Under the proposal, only ginseng that's at least 5 years old could be harvested. The harvest season would begin Sept. 1 instead of Aug. 15. Harvesters would be required to plant the seeds of harvested plants at the site where the plants were taken.

The proposal also would establish seasons for licensed dealers to buy the root.

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