Volume 18 Part 1 Article 92: Supplementation of Spent Mushroom Substrate (SMS) to Improve the Structure and Productivity as a Casing Material

Volume 18 Part 1 Article 92
Year 2012
Title: Supplementation of Spent Mushroom Substrate (SMS) to Improve the Structure and Productivity as a Casing Material
Authors: Jason Barry, Owen Doyle, Jim Grant and Helen Grogan

Abstract:

Screened and unscreened spent mushroom substrate (SMS) was supplemented with three additives, vermiculite, perlite and horticultural grit (Experiment 1). Two rates of each additive were tested (10 and 30% v/v) to determine the effect of casing properties on yield of Agaricus bisporus. Among the three additives tested, the SMS casings incorporating 30 % (v/v) vermiculite were the highest yielding. Screening SMS to a particle size of ≤10 mm had no significant effect on mushroom yield. To further improve the yield capacity and structure of SMS casing, additional investigations examined the application of vermiculite at various rates and grades (Experiment 2). Two grades (medium and fine) and four rates of incorporation were tested (10, 20, 30 and 40% v/v). Increasing the concentration of vermiculite in SMS from 10 to 40% (v/v), reduced bulk density and increased total pore space and water retention of SMS. Within each grade, inclusion of vermiculite into SMS, at the 40% (v/v) rate, decreased the bulk density of SMS more significantly when compared to all other rates tested. SMS casings incorporating fine grade vermiculite increased the water retention capacity of SMS casings more significantly than SMS casings incorporating medium grade vermiculite. The addition of fine grade vermiculite to SMS, at an incorporation rate of 30% (v/v), was the most promising in terms of maximising the yield potential of SMS as a casing material, for the production of Agaricus bisporus.

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