Volume 16 Part 1 Article 77: Spent Mushroom Compost as an Alternative for Casing Soil

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 77
Year 2004
Title: Spent Mushroom Compost as an Alternative for Casing Soil
Authors: H. Riahi and A. Arab


Spent mushroom compost (SMC), an abundant byproduct of Agaricus bisporus cultivation, was evaluated as a casing material owing to unavailability of black peat and peat moss in Iran. A study of the physical characteristics of local peat and SMC revealed that, with the exception of high salinity in the SMC, there was little difference in pH, organic matter and water-holding capacity. To reduce the salinity, two-year aged SMC was spread on a leaching yard consisting of a 2,500 m2 concrete area with a 7% slope and with a total capacity of 450 m3 of SMC per 15 days. Yields obtained from leached SMC as casing were compared to those of local peat and black peat from Ireland and Holland. Except for black peat, no significant difference was observed among the treatments. Also, there was no significant difference in yield with 50% leached SMC and black peat. The use of leached SMC as a casing material in Europe is not a viable option, as black peat is more productive than SMC. But in countries where black peat is unavailable or limited, SMC could be substituted. In another study, leached SMC and local peat were mixed in different proportions with waste carpet wool and palm fibers, which served to increase the water-holding capacity. A significant increase in yield was observed when SMC was mixed with local peat and 20% waste carpet wool.

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