Volume 16 Part 1 Article 73: Reuse of Substrate in Specialty Mushroom Production

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 73
Year 2004
Title: Reuse of Substrate in Specialty Mushroom Production
Author: G. Babcock


Throughout the mushroom industry worldwide, the issue of disposal of spent mushroom substrate (SMS) is an ever-growing topic of concern. The removal and disposal of SMS is usually a financial burden that is placed upon the grower and can be a considerable expense. Environmental concerns create liabilities and, therefore, companies are looking for alternatives to reduce these expenses and responsibilities. The commercial cultivation of specialty mushrooms typically utilizes sawdust or straw-based substrates. These materials are generally used only once for production purposes. Both sawdust and straw-based SMS contain valuable nutrients that could be reused for mushroom production. Research carried in collaboration with the Department of Mycology, Montana State University, has provided valuable information about the constituents of the recycled material as well as about long-term use and problems associated with the continued use of recycled material. As the mushroom industry continues to grow, so will the debate on the proper disposal of SMS. The recycling of these materials provides a simple and long-lasting solution. It is an environmentally sound technique that provides an economic benefit to specialty mushroom producers.

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