Determining the Commercialization Potential for OSHA (Ligusticum porteri)

Award Information
Department of Agriculture
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Elk Mountain Herbs, Inc.
214 Ord Street, Laramie, WY, 82070
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Karin Guernsey
(307) 742-0404
Business Contact:
Karin Guernsey
(307) 742-0404
Research Institution:
The proposed research will focus on the cultivation of Osha (Ligusticum porteri), a popular native medicinal herb, for the purpose of developing a new commercial crop for Wyoming growers. Presently the only source for this plant are wild populations found at high elevations in the Rocky Mountains of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Montana and Nevada. Due to the high demand for the mature root, the portion of the plant used for medicinal purposes, the species is being over-harvested. Creating sustainable agricultural sources for Ligusticum porteri is the key to averting future supply problems while maintaining the quantity of the commodity currently sold on the market. The focus on this research is to demonstrate the economic feasibility of L. porteri (Osha) as an alternative crop for production in high altitude areas of Wyoming and other areas in the Rocky Mountain West. The proposed Phase 2 research will include: 1) refining plant propagation studies using organic production methods to develop a supply of seedlings, 2) developing standards for growing the crop and monitoring its progress, 3) developing commercial pilot sites to implement and test the production standards, 4) estimating enterprise costs and profit margins based on data from the pilot sites, and 5) educating potential growers about this alternative agricultural product. The technical objectives of the research include: 1) Develop a stock of seedlings to be used for transplanting to various commercial test plots; 2) Successfully transfer plants from greenhouse to several outdoor locations; 3) Create inventory of seedlings and rootstock for production use at commercial test sites; 4) Develop written set of cultivation procedures for commercial producers to use in establishing seedling stock; 5) Develop commercial test site 1 at Elk Mountain, Wyoming (Carbon County); 6) Develop commercial test site 2 in Albany County, Wyoming; 7) Identify all enterprise costs associated in implementation of procedures standard and development of commercial test sites and prepare feasibility plan for this crop and 8) Develop program for educating potential growers on the opportunities for Osha as alternative production crop.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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