Volume 17 Part 1 Article 21: Quality Evaluation of Wheat Straw and Poultry Manure Used for the Production of Agaricus bisporus substrate in Northern Ireland

Volume 17 Part 1 Article 21
Year 2008
Title: Quality Evaluation of Wheat Straw and Poultry Manure Used for the Production of Agaricus bisporus substrate in Northern Ireland
Authors: H.S. Shekhar Sharma, G. Lyons and M. Kilpatrick

Abstract:

Wheat straw is widely used as a carbon source for the production of phase II for Agaricus bisporus in the UK and Ireland. However, the available straw is variable due to many factors including cultivar differences, crop-husbandry procedures, soil types and weather conditions during harvesting and storage. Poultry manure is used as an inexpensive source of nitrogen for the production of synthetic substrate. The dry matter and nitrogen dry matter content of poultry manure can vary due to changes in the feed formulation for the birds and production cycles. This investigation was aimed at monitoring quality of wheat straw and poultry manure used by three composters during a 2-year period. The samples obtained from the three yards were analysed for pH, electrical conductivity, dry matter, water-soluble carbohydrate, water-soluble polyphenols, ash, nitrogen dry matter and fibre fractions as determined by thermogravimetric analysis. The samples were also scanned for visible and near infrared spectra to identify the degree of variability, and relationships of the spectra with key parameters were also examined. The majority of raw materials used by the three composters during the sampling period were uniform, as indicated by the narrow range of key parameters. However, principal component analysis revealed that two batches of poultry manure and three batches of straw were outlier samples based on the differences in the spectra. The advantages of using spectroscopy for assessing variability of raw materials are discussed.

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