Volume 16 Part 1 Article 36: Organic Mushroom Production Through Improved Substrate Fermentation Process and Cultural Practices

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 36
Year 2004
Title: Organic Mushroom Production Through Improved Substrate Fermentation Process and Cultural Practices
Authors: B.L. Dhar, O.P. Ahlawat, A. Nath and J.K. Dubey

Abstract:

This project on organic button mushroom production (Agaricus bisporus) was initiated at the Center with the collaboration of residue analysts at the University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan, HP, India. Three crops of mushrooms were raised organically at the Center during 2001-2003 under controlled-environment conditions. No fertilizers/chemicals were used at any stage of crop production. The composting formulation was standardized using various agricultural byproducts and poultry manure. The compost was prepared in two phases following standard methods. Only steam was used to eliminate pests/diseases/competitors from the substrate/casing. Yield data were recorded for a period of six wk of cropping. The residue analysis was done on all of the composting ingredients, compost at various stages of composting, casing material, spawn, water and the fruiting bodies. Various residues were detected at all of the stages and from all of the ingredients, but in low concentrations. No genetically engineered mushroom strains, sewage water and chemicals were used during the study, as is the requirement under U.S. organic laws. Since there are no standards prescribed for Organic Food Production under Indian laws, U.S. organic laws were followed. The experiment was planned with a view to collect data on residues/points of entry and devise methods for their elimination by improved substrate fermentation process and cultural practices. Microbes were isolated from the compost and isolated in pure culture for use in future research on pesticide elimination from substrates by directed fermentation process.

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