Volume 16 Part 1 Article 28: Changes in the Quality of Mushroom Compost During the Last Decade

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 28
Year 2004
Title: Changes in the Quality of Mushroom Compost During the Last Decade
Authors: H.S.S. Sharma, M. Kilpatrick, G. Lyons, J. Murray, S. Moore, L. Cheung, K. Finegan, S. Sturgeon and R. Mellon


During the last 10 years, the mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) industry in Northern Ireland has adopted a number of technologies that have led to an improved production efficiency and quality of Phase II compost. From 1992 to 2001, samples from the industry were monitored for key quality parameters, such as dry matter, nitrogen dry matter, pH, ammonia, microbial population, carbon, ash, minerals and fiber fractions. In addition, productivity trials with Phase II composts supplied by six producers also were carried out annually during this period. Several papers on the characteristics of Phase I and II composts produced by in-vessel and windrow systems have been published previously. A mathematical model based on the selected parameters for predicting potential yield of Phase II compost also was reported from the results of the work program. The aim of this paper is to review the comprehensive analytical and productivity database of major compost producers in Northern Ireland and highlight important changes in key parameters during that period. The relationship between changes in management of the production system and impact on the quality parameters will also be discussed.

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