Volume 12 Part 1 Article 47: Short Duration Vigorous Composts for Agaricus bisporus

Volume 12 Part 1 Article 47
Year 1989
Title: Short Duration Vigorous Composts for Agaricus bisporus
Authors: B.L. Dhar and J.N. Kapoor


Compost for cultivation of Agaricus bisporus is prepared from a mixture of organic materials subjected to a composting process for making it selective for growth of Agaricus bisporus. Composting method remained unchanged from the beginning of mushroom cultivation till the middle of twentieth century. The procedure was, more or less, the same as described by Callow in 1831. Some growers obtained higher yields from the compost which had got heated naturally to 60°C. Lambert (1941) demonstrated that compost produced under aerobic conditions at temperatures between 50-60°C (peak heating) was the most suitable for mushroom growing. This practice of “peak heating”, now universally adopted, was a major step forward in the productivity of composts. Technique was further perfected by Sinden and Hauser (1959, 1953), in a procedure known as short method of composting, Earlier method in which outdoor composting lasted for about four weeks, not followed by any “peak heating”, has been referred to as “long method” of composting. Improvement in this “long method” was described by Rasmussen (1962) where stage I is extended to 16 days followed by shortened stage II which involves pasteurization.

Substrates prepared by long method in 28 days (Mantel et al., 1972; Shandilya, 1976, 1978; Kachroo et al., 1980) are over composted and result in lower yields. Composts prepared by short method (Shandilya and Hayes, 1978) yield almost double as compared to long method, but initial capital cost involved in building infrastructural facilities are unavailable to a common grower in a developing country like India. A grower, in general, in India has adopted the old traditional method of composting for taking seasonal crops and is getting fairly good yields when compared with his capital investment. An average of 100-120 kg per ton of fresh compost is generally obtainable with minimum inputs under our conditions especially in northern plains of India in winter months (seasonal crop) . However, in present study attempt was made to produce vigorously growing selective substrate in less than 3 weeks time without outside use of steam or any chemical agent. Various organic substrates were tried for quick fermentation in a single phase.

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