Oyster mushrooms grow naturally on every continent. They grow on almost anything that contains cellulose or lignin. More than 50 varieties are grown commercially.
P. citrinopileatus (Golden Oyster Mushroom) 21‐29 C Temperature <1,000 ppm CO2 90‐95% Relative Humidity 500‐1000 Lux
Pink oyster mushroom growing on rice straw. 20‐30 C temperature 500‐1500 ppm CO2 85‐90% Relative Humidity 750‐1500 Lux light
Oyster mushroom growing on barley straw
Oyster mushroom grows on wheat straw.
Oyster mushroom growing on wood (Sawdust)
HEALTH BENEFITS OF OYSTER MUSHROOM Dose: The recommended dose is 3‐9 grams daily. In the Czech Republic, extracts have been made from the fruiting bodies as the main ingredient in dietary preparations recommended for prevention of high cholesterol (Opletal, 1993). The dried oyster mushrooms are said to be high in iron, so they are potentially good blood builders.
In China oyster mushroom is indicated for joint and muscle relaxation (Yang & Jong, 1989). A product containing oyster mushroom, called "Tendon‐easing powder," is effective in the treatment of lumbago, numbed limbs, and tendon and blood vessel discomfort.
Protein quality is nearly equal to animal derived protein Contains These Essential Amino Acids Tryptophan g Threonine g Isoleucine g Leucine g Lysine g Methionine g Cysteine Phenylalanine g
0.026 0.095 0.073 0.10 0.08 0.03 g 0.01 0.07
Good Source of Essential Minerals Contains These Minerals Calcium, Ca Iron, Fe Magnesium, Mg Phosphorus, P Potassium, K Sodium, Na Zinc, Zn Copper, Cu Manganese, Mn Selenium, Se
mg 3 mg 1.14 mg 15 mg 103 mg 361 mg 15 mg 0.66 mg 0.210 mg 0.097 mcg 2.2
Good Source of Dietary Supplements Contains These Vitamins Thiamin Riboflavin Niacin Pantothenic acid Vitamin B‐6 Folate, total Folate, food Folate, DFE Choline, total Betaine Vitamin A, Carotene, beta Vitamin A, IU Vitamin D (D2 + D3) Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) Vitamin D
mg 0.10 mg 0.300 mg 4.262 mg 1.113 mg 0.095 mcg 23 mcg 23 mcg 23 mg 41.9 mg 10.4 mcg_ 2 mcg 25 IU 41 mcg 0.8 mcg 0.6 mcg 0.2 IU 31
MANY VARIETIES OF OYSTER MUSHROOM ARE GROWN FROM TROPICS TO HIGH LATITUDES Common Names – Latin names Golden Oyster Mushroom ‐ Pleurotus citrinopileatus Abalone Mushroom ‐ Pleurotus cystidiosus Pink Oyster Mushroom ‐ Pleurotus djamor Tarragon Oyster Mushroom ‐ Pleurotus euosmus Tree or Gray Oyster Mushroom ‐ Pleurotus ostreatus Indian Oyster Mushroom – Pleurotus pulmonarius King Tuber Oyster Mushroom ‐ Pleurotus eryngii
Two Popular Climate Varieties Each has Several Commercial Strains COOL WEATHER VARIETY ‐ Pleurotus Ostreatus 25‐30 C degrees – for growing spawn 15‐20 C degrees – for growing mushrooms
WARM WEATHER VARIETY ‐ Pleurotus Sajor‐caju 30‐35 C degrees – for growing spawn 19‐24 C degrees– for growing mushrooms
Growth of Mushroom Fruit Body During 7 Days Commercial Variety A‐5 Cool Weather Strain
Next pictures show normal development from tiny primordia into large mushrooms, at 17‐20 C degrees.
After about 21 days, lumps begin to grow where slits were cut in plastic bags.
24 hours later, lumps grow to double size
48 hours later, individual mushrooms are visible.
After 72 hours, lumps have doubled in size again.
After 96 hours, stems begin grow.
After 120 hours, stems continue to elongate.
After 144 hours, 6 days, diameter of caps and length of stems increases quickly.
Evening of 6th day, dimple forms at center of each cap.
Morning of 7th day, after 168 hours, some mushrooms are almost ready to harvest.
Noon of 7th day, mushrooms caps expand rapidly.
Evening of 7th day, about 200 hours later, mature clusters of mushrooms are ready to harvest.
Russian strain #1600 Cold Weather Variety Very fast growth This photo is 15 days after planting, lumps begin to expand.
Russian strain #1600
16 days after planting
Russian strain #1600
17 days after planting
# 1 6 0
#1600 20 days
M55 WarmÂ Climate Variety
M5Â Warm Weather Variety
HK35 Large Mushrooms High Quality
HK35 Slower to mature, but produces large mushrooms with thick caps and very solid flesh.
Production Planning for Oyster Mushroom Incubation cycle usually 21 days depends on quantity of spawn (more spawn = shorter incubation cycle)
3 fruiting cycles one wave: 21 + 7 = 28 day cycle two waves: 21 + 21 = 42 day cycle three waves: 21 + 35 = 56 day cycle
Mushrooms grow in waves; first wave yields about 70%, second wave yields about 20%, and third wave yields about 10% of total mushrooms per kilogram of substrate planted.
42 days 56 days 70% 20% 10%
Continuous production is essential for selling mushrooms
prod 1wk intrval 6
Kg /Ton substrate
5 4 3 Series1 2 1 0 1 3 5 7 9 1113151719212325272931333537394143454749515355575961
Production is almost continuous, ok for marketing
prod 2wk intrval 6
Kg /Ton substrate
5 4 3 Series1 2 1 0 1 3 5 7 9 1113151719212325272931333537394143454749515355575961
Peaks and valleys , becomes very difficult to market
prod 3wk intrval 4.5 4
Kg /Ton substrate
3.5 3 2.5 2
1.5 1 0.5 0 1 3 5 7 9 1113151719212325272931333537394143454749515355575961
Not realistic, work load is difficult to schedule, marketing is nearly impossible.
prod 4wk intrval
Kg /Ton substrate
3.5 3 2.5 2
1.5 1 0.5 0 1 4 7 10 13 16 19 22 25 28 31 34 37 40 43 46 49 52 55 58 61
Biological Efficiency the best choice? Economic Decision maximize biological efficiency use a long production cycle and get the Most production possible per ton of substrate.
Biological Efficiency; what is it? 25%
Return Rate of Substrate 20%
18% 14% Series1
0% One Harvest
When is Efficient Use of Space the best choice? Economic Decision Big investment in mechanical systems to control climate, then a short crop cycle with more crops per year is a better choice Most production per cubic meter of production space
Efficient use of space: what is it? 18,000
Harvest per Year (kg)
8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 One Harvest
With big investment in climate control equipment, more profit is possible by efficient use of space
One Harvest Return Rate of Substrate Harvests per Year Harvest per Year (kg) Straw Mycelium Labor Energy Harvest and Transportation (1$/kg) Total Costs Gross Revenue Net Profits
14% 52 16,016 $10,400 $7,800 $5,200 $5,200 $8,008 $36,608 $48,048 $84,656
Two Harvests Three Harvests 18% 20% 25 17 9,900 7,480 $5,000 $3,400 $3,750 $2,550 $5,200 $5,200 $5,200 $5,200 $4,950 $3,740 $24,100 $20,090 $29,700 $22,440 $53,800 $42,530
Two Methods to Calculate Yield of Mushrooms: Yield Efficiency 25% (based on substrate wet weight) 30‐35% is very ,very, good 15 kilograms of substrate with 68% moisture produces 3.75 kilograms of mushrooms: (15 kg x .25 = 3.75 kg mushrooms)
Biological Efficiency 78% (based on substrate dry weight) 85‐90% is very, very, good 15 kilograms of substrate with 68% moisture has a dry weight of 4.8kg and produces 3.75 kilograms of mushrooms (3.75 / 4.8 = .78 x 100 = 78%)
Popular commercial production scheme, based on weekly planting: 1‐3‐1‐system 1‐ pasteurizing area with capacity for one batch to fill one incubation room each week 3 ‐ incubation rooms each with capacity for one batch : every week move one batch to production room and incubation room with fresh batch. 1 ‐ big growing room with capacity for 3 batches of substrate, harvest two waves of mushrooms, each week remove one batch and re‐fill space with new batch from incubation room.
Cycle Days 1 Sunday 2 Monday 3 Tuesday 4 Wednesday 5 Thursday 6 Friday 7 Saturday 8 Sunday 9 Monday 10 Tuesday 11 Wednesday 12 Thursday 13 Friday 14 Saturday 15 Sunday 16 Monday 17 Tuesday 18 Wednesday 19 Thursday
Pasteurize Spawn Growing Rm 1 Rm 2 Rm 3 A
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Production Room B C
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
16 17 18 19
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2 AREA 3 A 4 KG/ 5 0 TON 6 1 0 7 2 1 8 3 3 9 4 3 10 5 4 11 6 4 12 7 2 13 8 0 14 9 0 15 10 0 16 11 1 17 12 1 18 13 1 19 14 1 15 1 16 1
KG /TON DAY
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
KG/ TON 0 0 1 3 3 4 4 2 0 0
0 1 2
0 0 1
1 3 3 4 4 2 0 1 3 4 5 5 3 1 2
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday
15 16 17 18 19
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
17 18 19 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
1 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 3 4 4 2 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 3 4 4 2 0
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 0 1
3 3 4 4 2 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0
4 5 5 5 3 1 2 4 5 5 5 3 1 2 4 5 5 5 3 1
DRY STRAW for 15 kilogram bag of substrate. 1 ton dry straw (10% moisture), mixed with water, yields about 3 ton substrate (68% moisture) So, 1‐15 kg bag at 68% contains, about 5 kg dry straw. One ton straw yields 200‐15 kg bags (1,000kg/5 = 200) Straw cost $50 per ton, 50/200 = $0.25 per bag Straw cost $100 per ton,100/200 = $0.50 per bag Straw cost $200 per ton, 200/200 = $1.00 per bag Straw cost $300 per ton, 300/200 = $1.50 per bag
MORE SPAWN IS BETTER, BUT MORE EXPENSIVE Higher rate of spawn = Faster colonization Faster colonization = Fewer “weed molds” Faster colonization = Earlier production, MORE SPAWN = HIGHER production
Spawn cost $1.50/ kg Calculate Cost for 15 kg bag 4% ‐ 15kg x .04 = 60 grams = $0.90 spawn per bag 5% ‐ 15 kg x .05 = 75g grams = $1.12 spawn per bag 6% ‐ 15 kg x .06 = 90 grams = $1.35 spawn per bag 7% ‐ 15 kg x .07 = 105 grams = $1.58 spawn per bag
Variable Cost of Straw and Variable Rate of Spawn 15 kg bag of substrate yields 3.75 kg mushrooms Biological Efficiency 78% ‐ Yield Efficiency 25% Straw cost $ per ton $300 $200 $100 $50
Spawn cost based on $1.50 per kilogram 4% 5% 6% 7% 2.40 1.90 1.40 1.15
2.62 2.12 1.62 1.37
2.85 2.35 1.85 1.60
3.08 2.58 2.08 1.83
3.75 kg Mushrooms @ $3 per kg = $11.25 per bag
MORE SPAWN = FASTER GROWTH GROWTH SPEED IS PROPORTIONAL TO SPAWN RATE Next 4 pictures, all taken 20 days after planting, show different stages in maturity due to planting different rate of spawn. 4% spawn ‐ First picture shows growth at 20 days. 5% spawn ‐ Second picture shows growth at 20 days. 6% spawn ‐ Third picture shows growth at 20 days. 7% spawn ‐ Fourth picture shows growth 20 days.
4.0% spawn, 20 days. Mushrooms are very tiny. just small lumps emerging from slits in bags
5% spawn, 20 days. Mushrooms are larger.
6% spawn, 20 days. Some mushrooms are mature.
7% spawn, 20 days. Mushrooms are ready for harvest
Making Mushroom Food Mushroom food is formulated by mushroom growers and is called substrate or compost. Nutrients in substrate, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, some minerals, come from raw materials such as straw and manure and gypsum. The goal for making mushroom food is to make it selective, available to the mushroom, and not available to other molds or bacteria that might be present during the growth cycle.
Practically any cellulose‐containing agriculture waste product can be used to grow oyster mushroom Banana leaves Barley straw Buckwheat straw, Polygonum fagopyrum Corncobs, hammer milled or crushed Cottonseed hulls Grasses, wild grasses Flax straw, Linum usitatissimum Oat straw
Papyrus plants Rice straw Sorghum hulls Sugarcane bagasse Sunflower husks
Wheat straw is most widely used raw material for growing oyster mushrooms
Leaves of date palm are abundant and nearly free in Iraq. Date palm leaf could make good oyster mushroom substrate if leaves are mechanically shredded. Online reference: Cultivation of Oyster mushroom on waste substrates of date palm. Dr. Qaher Mandeel, Bahrain University
VERY IMPORTANT STEP WHEN PREPARING RAW MATERIALS SHREDDING STRAW INTO SMALL PIECES INCREASES YIELDS COMPARED TO SIMPLY CUTTING STEMS OF WHOLE STRAW
Cross Section of Wheat Straw Shows Lignin Tubes, Tightly Bound Together Lignin tubes make the walls of straw rigid. Cellulose and other digestible compounds are surrounded by bundles of lignin. Oyster mushroom can digest lignin, but crushing the fibers mechanically increases digestibility.
Shredding waste plant material, such as date palm leaves is the first step in the process
Farmers have developed many different kinds of machines for grinding straw for animal feed.
Small machines for grinding grain are very useful for preparing oyster mushroom substrate. “Substrate” is the name for any material used as food for mushrooms.
Substrate Preparation Cycle – 4 Methods 1.Add hot water to straw and mix 40‐50 C degrees, then cool to and plant spawn. 2.Heat straw to 70‐80 C with steam or boiling water 3.Chemical Pasteurization with Calcium Hydroxide, Bleach, Laundry Detergent, Hydrogen Peroxide 4. Composting straw, make pile, compost heats naturally to 40‐50 C degrees over 3‐5 days. Then finish by steam pasteurizing chamber at 55‐65C for 12‐24 hours.
Seven examples of low‐technology oyster mushroom production systems: USA ‐‐ hobby‐scale production using wheat straw Uganda – sorghum hulls Turkmenistan – cotton seed waste South Central Russia – buckwheat hulls Jamaica – dried banana leaves Macedonia – chopped wheat straw
Hobby Scale ‐ Chop straw, add hot water, then add spawn
Mix spawn thoroughly with moist straw and wait 3‐4 weeks
W i t h f a v o r a b l e
Sorghum hulls are not good food for people, not good food for animals, but sorghum hulls are very good food for oyster mushroom.
In Uganda, sorghum hulls are separated from seeds by hand, depending on breezes to blow hulls away.
Sorghum hulls are a waste product, usually burned. Oyster mushroom growers discovered sorghum hulls make very good substrate. To prepare substrate, the hulls are first soaked in water, then put into plastic mesh bags, and lowered into a barrel. Then water is added to the barrel.
Wood fire heats water inside barrels to pasteurize hulls The fire burns about 8 hours, then cools over night.
After cooling, sorghum hulls are removed, mixed with spawn, then filled into plastic bags for incubation.
Bags are perforated with sewing needle for air, but to exclude insects
Bags hang for 3 weeks, protected from rodents and bugs.
Bags can hang close together during 3 week incubation, in an area protected from insects and rodents.
Then bags are removed and moved to shelves in a moist area
Harvest mushroom every day, air must be humid and 15‐25 C degrees.
This is a solar dryer for mushrooms. Temperature should be 35‐45 celsius degrees. If too hot, mushrooms will turn brown as they dry.
Special screen panels control air exchange to control temperature.
Dry mushrooms are weighed and packaged for export.
Cottonseed processing waste is very good material to use for oyster mushroom substrate.
Cotton seed waste includes some cotton fibers and cottonseed hulls. Very good material for oyster mushroom substrate, no chopping is required, absorbs water easily.
Water is heated with natural gas flame.
Small electric mixer is filled with hulls, then hot water with 2% calcium hydroxide (2 kg/100 liters water) is added and mixed.
Material cools to 25‐30C degrees, then spawn is mixed and bags are filled
Plastic tubes closed with cotton plug and tied on both ends.
Bags are stacked like wood logs, in a shady place, and oyster mushroom mycelium begins to grow.
In spring and autumn, mushrooms can grow outside.
In China, large production in open‐end plastic tunnels
Bags are opened at ends, then mushrooms form. After first harvest, then 0.5cm is cut from ends and new mushrooms form in 2‐3 weeks.
Buckwheat is used to make popular Russian cereal, Kasha.
Buckwheat “fruit” is removed, leaving the hulls.
Located in basement of old cheese factory, buckwheat hulls are loaded into a bathtub on wheels. Water is heated by electricity, then poured into tub.
Hulls dumped in old cheese curing room, then spawn is mixed with the hulls and filled by hand into plastic bags.
Bags are placed on shelved for incubation and production.
Banana leaves are a waste product in tropical climates.
One man with a machete can chop about 200 kg of dried banana leaves in one day.
Propane gas heats water in bottom of barrel. Wire mesh separates moist leaves from water, 10‐15 cm above floor.
Vacuum cleaner blows air through filter (wooden box) to cool substrate quickly for planting
Mixing spawn Filling Bags Thin metal sheet is rolled into a cylinder and tied with string. Plastic bag is inserted into the cylinder. Spawn is mixed with cooked banana leaves when ladies fill the bags.
Bags are weighed and closed by folding the top over.
Open air growing rooms are used. Insects and rodents are often a problem in tropical climates.
Dry straw passes through a high speed blower, is chopped, then passes through a metal tube into a pasteurizing room.
Inside pasteurization room, straw blows through holes in the ceiling, then falls on wooden floor. Nozzles mounted on overhead pipe sprinkle straw, water drains through and is re‐circulated by a pump. Steam enters under floor boards.
Coal Fired Boiler Straw heats to 70‐80 C degrees for about 12 hours. Then cools for 12 hours and is ready next morning for planting with oyster mushroom spawn.
After pasteurizing, men fork straw onto conveyor. Then, it moves by conveyor outside to the planting room.
Outside, straw falls onto a clean plastic sheet.
Spawn is added as hydraulic machine compresses straw and pushes straw out into a plastic bag.
Hydraulic machine compresses straw and spawn, then pushes material out into a plastic bag.
Incubation Room Compressed blocks are moved to a room for incubation. During incubation, bags can be packed close together. 25 C degrees is good for growing spawn.
Blocks are moved from incubation into fruiting room. In light and fresh air, mushrooms begin to form.
In Macedonia, chopped wheat straw soaks overnight in water mixed with calcium hydroxide
300 liter pasteurizing tub with wire mesh floor. Straw is filled into tub. Steam enters under the mesh floor. Steam generator is next to the tub.
Home made steam generator uses propane gas to boil water. Steam travels by pipe to pasteurizing tub.
After pasteurizing, straw is rapidly cooled by a vacuum cleaner that blows air under the straw. Cloth over top prevents insects from laying eggs as the straw cools.
Straw is mixed with spawn as plastic bags are filled.
Two Weeks after Planting Spawn has grown completely through the bags. They are ready to fruit. Notice small holes in side of bags covered with a paper filter.
3‐4 Weeks after planting, plastic is removed and mushrooms begin to form. Every week, 60 bags begin producing. Every week, 60 bags finish. 6 week production cycle, means 350‐400 bags fill production area. (60 new bags per week for 6 weeks)
15 minute pause Coffee Break – Tea Time
Next 16 slides show operation of a small farm practicing efficient use of space and equipment One week production cycle is repeated 52 times per year Very Efficient Use of Space and Equipment, This small farm invested in specialized equipment: for processing straw, for pasteurizing substrate for sterile area to plant spawn, for large incubation room, for very good climate control in production area
Process begin with chopping straw. Twice each week, 0.5 ton of dry straw is shredded with hammer‐mill.
Chopped straw moves by screw conveyor, water enters at top and is pressed into straw as it moved up the conveyor.
Wet straw is put into plastic bags before pasteurizing. White paper filter protect straw from spores and insects.
Pasteruizing room where bags are stacked and heated by steam to 60‐70 C degrees, then cooled by filtered air.
Bags enter from window (left) are inoculated with spawn on counter in front of HEPA filter.
Bags leave inoculation chamber, are put into carts with wheels, pushed to incubation room and placed on shelves.
Incubation Room Incubation chamber, bags are stacked close together. No light is needed. Temperature is about 25 C degrees. Humidity is about 70‐75%.
During 18‐day incubation, filter patch protects substrate against contamination by spores in air around the bags.
After 18 days, bags move into production area, stacked on shelves. Filters, one on each side of bag, are removed.
After 4‐6 days in fresh air, mushrooms grow out of holes on each side of the bag. Mushrooms are cut off in one cluster.
Mushrooms grow only from two holes in bags, one hole on each side of a bag. Clusters are cut just one time.
After harvesting one time, bags are removed from production and sold to hobby‐scale growers who harvest a second time.
Industrial Scale Oyster Mushroom Production Russia and Ukraine Many oyster mushroom facilities have been built during past 15 years. Russians love mushrooms very much. Russians eat many different varieties of mushrooms. Cultural heritage in Russia, in spring and autumn, is to go into fields and forest and collect many species of wild mushrooms. Marketing in mushrooms in Russia is easy compared to marketing mushrooms in countries where mushrooms are viewed with suspicion. Russians love high technology and have developed large scale mushroom production facilities for oyster mushrooms, bigger and better than Western Europe and North America.
Industrial Scale Substrate Made With Wheat Straw Additives to increase density and nutrition are green grass hay, lucerne and where available; wastes from seed processing, such as sunflower hulls, cottonseed hulls buckwheat hulls.
Very important to collect straw quickly and move it to a protected storage area
For continuously production, straw storage is very important. Straw must be collected during harvest season, then protected from rain all winter.
Sunflower Husks (shells or hulls) often mixed with straw 15‐20% by weight, to increase the density of substrate.
Straw used to prepare substrat must without any mold, very DRY, moisture less than 10%.
Notice the small black dots on straw, they are molds. Moldy straw is dangerous to use for mushroom substrate, likely prevent mycelium from growing.
SUBSTRATE PREPARATION PROCESS PHASE 1 and PHASE 2 Phase I is 3‐6 day cycle, water and nutrients are mixed with chopped straw, substrate is mixed again several times and naturally heats to 45‐50 C degrees Phase II is 4‐6 day cycle inside a special building, substrate temperature is controlled at 45‐55 C degrees, and oxygen level is controlled at 12‐16% during the process.
Phase I – Brief Description Straw is chopped mechanically to 2‐4 cm pieces. Water, nutrients, and minerals are added and mixed thoroughly, must be homogenous. Temperature increases to 40‐60 C degrees as natural microbes become active. Pile is moved and mixed every 24‐48 hours, stirring the pile increases supply of oxygen so heat loving microbes continue to grow.
Water drains and collects, then pump activates and sprays water on top of pile of straw.
Large rotating mix‐machine blends straw, hay, water and minerals together. Piles are moved 3x, before pasteurizing
Extended Phase I – straw inside metal mesh box begins to heat up. Sides of box are removable, box is re‐assembled in new location and substrate is tossed into empty box.
Small straw chopping machine can process 4‐6 tons of dry straw per day.
Example of industrial scale Phase I This machinery can process 200 tons of straw per day.
Industrial twin‐screw conveyor, with side conveyor for adding mineral mix. Screws press water into straw.
Outside View of Twin‐Screw Conveyor
Compost Bunkers are designed for many purposes: mushroom growing solid waste disposal slaughter house waste
Bunker at Mushroom Test Demonstration Facility Pennsylvania State University
Compost Bunker – covered area, air pipes under concrete
Phase I without moving the straw. Air pipes under floor aerate the compost, so pile does not have to be moved.
Air blows up through holes 3‐5 mm diameter, spaced about 20 cm, in the concrete floor.
Pipes can be opened for cleaning and draining water.
High pressure fan blows air into pipes under concrete floor.
Bunkers need high pressure ventilators for two reasons: 1.To keep the nozzles free from compacted compost 2.Positive pressure forces air up through 3M deep compost
Construction of aerated concrete floor for Phase I in Turkmenistan
Phase II Tunnel Inside the tunnel wet straw is suspended over floor with holes, then air blows underneath the pile and rises up through the pile, then air is re‐circulated by a high pressure fan.
Telescoping conveyor fills tunnel 40 meters long.
Mechanical unloading Phase 2 Tunnel Nylon mesh underneath substrate is reeled onto on a shaft very slowly as it pulls all the substrate out of the tunnel.
Mechanical conveyor carries substrate to a work table where workers mix spawn and fill plastic bags with substrate
Planting spawn in a small Phase 2 tunnel in Turkmenistan Bags are filled with spawn and cooked substrate after steaming and cooling.
Bags filled with substrate stacked on shelves for incubation
In Tajikistan, workers empty Phase 2 tunnel and fill bags.
Hopper over machine is filled with substrate and spawn, machine compress and extrudes substrate into bags.
Bags are stacked, ready for transport to incubation area.
This company makes substrate bags only, they do not produce mushrooms. Bags are on truck for delivery.
With refrigerated trailer, substrate bags are shipped to growers in all parts of the region, up to 800 km
Combination vertical and horizontal bag system
Many different shelf systems have been developed.
System of hanging bags from nylon strings
Popular method of hanging 15 kg bags of substrate with nylon strings
bags supported with nylon strings attached to overhead metal pipes
Hanging bags from metal pipes with nylon strings is a popular method in Russia
Horizontal bag system.
Horizontal rows of substrate bags are stabilized with nylon strings. Strings wrap around bags and are attached to wooden posts and to ceiling.
Wooden posts, both vertical and horizontal, stabilize rows of bags laying horizontal, held in place with nylon strings wrapped around the bags.
9 tiers high Harvesting requires a ladder or platform on wheels. Ventilation, adding enough fresh air, and circulating air around the bags, requires many plastic air tubes or small fans. And maintaining high humidity is not so easy.
In this system, bags are stacked three‐high, one on top of the other. Horizontal pipe near ceiling is supported by vertical pipes. Nylon strings, attached to overhead pipe, help support the weight and prevent the bags from tipping over
Notice two large plastic air tubes with side radials
Metal shelves are painted with rust‐resistant paint
Different style of metal rack
High ceilings allow better air circulation
Natural light can be used if climate permits
This variation shows air tube on floor, nozzles circulate air with constant, but slow speed around horizontal blocks of mushroom substrate
Three tiers of bags are supported by horizontal metal bars, slightly offset so bars support weight and also stabilize the bags so they don’t fall down.
Well trained people are needed to constantly monitor the environment, to measure temperature relative humidity and CO2 level, and to watch carefully for signs of diseases. Diseased bags are immediately removed.
Air movement is a critical factor in oyster mushroom production rooms. In this room, an air tube is mounted above each aisle
This room is 100 meters long, notice ventilation tubes
In this system, mushrooms grow from top of heat resistant bottles. Bottles filled with substrate have been sterilized in an autoclave 120C. Automated system uses machines to fill and empty bottles.
When are mushrooms ready for harvest? Timing harvest is very important: too early means fewer kilograms; too late means poor quality, lower price These mushrooms ready now.
Edge of caps curves inward, edges still strong, not fragile
Healthy oyster mushrooms, no diseases, high humidity, sufficient fresh air, proper temperature, looks like this.
Perfect for harvest large mushrooms, edge still down
Perfect time to harvest, large but edge still rolls down
Good, large mushrooms, caps roll down, stems are short.
Edges of caps begin to turn up, too late with harvest, edges become fragile, easily broken.
These mushrooms not quite ready, weight will increase during 12‐24 hours and caps will still roll down.
Too late, edges fragile, easily broken
Little too late, edges of cap are wavy and thin
Too late, edges are thin and wavy, some edges roll up
Much too late, very fragile now, easily broken
Edges rolled up, too late for harvest
Some factors causing abnormal growth of mushrooms Lack of fresh air, CO2 level too high Humidity too high, too low Lack of evaporation, not sufficient air movement Problems with insects
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) level in ppm 350‐450 ppm in fresh air is world wide average 400‐700 ppm in urban areas with many cars or with industrial plants burning fossil fuels 600‐1500 ppm optimum range for mushrooms 20,000‐30,000 ppm in exhaled air from human at rest 30,000‐50,000 ppm in exhaled air from human at high level of physical activity. 25,000 ppm loss of consciousness in 2‐3 minutes 50,000 ppm death in about 5 minutes
CO2 level over 1,000ppm mushrooms abnormal
CO2 level too high Lack of fresh air causes mushrooms to grow long, thin stems and caps with very narrow diameter. No disease is present in this example, but level of carbon dioxide is too high. CO2 level should be 700‐900, ppm (parts per million) in this example mushroom grew with CO2 level 1,500‐2,000 ppm.
CO2 level was slightly high, 1,000‐1,200 ppm during growth of these mushrooms. Notice stems slightly elongated and cap is turning up.
Mushroom ventilation and air distribution systems are complex and require an engineer to design them
Ventilators mix fresh air and re‐circulated air and variable speed motors adjust the volume of air at different stages of crop cycle.
Design of air distribution system is critical for mushroom production Too little air moving CO2 will be too high near bags Too much air moving mushrooms will become dehydrated and die
Air nozzles are plastic drinking cups with bottom removed.
Relative humidity is measure of moisture in air compared to the maximum water holding capacity of air at a given temperature. Wet and dry bulb thermometers indicate relative humidity. Wet bulb is cooler than dry bulb. If temperature drops, water holding capacity is reduced and water in air can condense, rain will fall.
Mechanical device produces water fog, essential in hot, dry weather
Brass disc with fins rotates at high speed to produce very fine mist. Cools air and also increases humidity. Essential when air outside is 25‐30 C range.
Mushrooms grow only when a molecule of water evaporates from the surface.
Nutrients for mushroom growth come up from substrate only when a molecule of water evaporates from surface of the mushroom.
Lack of evaporation due to insufficient air movement in mushroom growing area.
Condensation Like dew a cool morning, condensation will form on mushroom surfaces overnight if temperature drops 3‐4 degrees. Free moisture invites bacteria multiply. Mushroom growth stops due to lack of evaporation.
Mushroom fly is often a problem, learn the life cycle of fly.
Post‐Harvest Handling ‐‐ Cool mushrooms as quickly as possible. Boxes have mesh sides so air can circulate.
Refrigerated storage must have good air movement.
Mushrooms arranged nicely, weight adjusted to 300 grams
Clear plastic over‐wrap preserves freshness and weight.
Pack fresh mushrooms in attractive packages with clear plastic film.
Shipping boxes, ready for market
Transport via refrigerated truck from farm to market.