Volume 19 Part 1 Article 6
Title: Drip Irrigation in Mushroom Cultivation should be Aligned with Common Practice
Author: Dov Raz, Ofer Danay, Paul Van den Berg, Yoram Engel, Eran Kobi, Ilana Barski and Dan Levanon, Pieter Van Der Meij
By common practice, mushrooms (A. bisporus) grown on shelves are irrigated by movable spraying systems. After “pins” set, irrigation is restricted to avoid moisture on the fruit bodies, which can cause bacterial blotches. Irrigation restriction creates dehydration of the casing soil to an extent that the third flush is not justified. By using drip irrigation positioned underneath the mushrooms, we can keep soil moisture at optimum and even reduce the depth of casing soil, as less buffer is needed. Increased yield and quality on one hand, and a reduction in casing soil and energy for drying the mushrooms after survival irrigation, on the other hand, brings a significant economic advantage. Once we had shown proof of concept, we had to align the driplines with the ongoing agro-machinery cultivation practices. The challenge was to insert and collect the driplines without disturbing the flow of compost and casing soil. A mutual effort in mushroom agronomy produced higher yields, better quality, and alignment with the existing agro-machinery practices, resulting in a new feasible solution that can push the industry forward.