09.2014 Problems of the third flush

Two mechanisms of mushroom feeding were considered in the implementation of the concept of controlled mushroom feeding. The first mechanism refers to a direct feeding by the enzymatic degradation of dead organic substances when the obtained nutrient ingredients are collected in the mycelium. Their amount plays a significant role in the production process and affects the yield in the first and second flush.

The second mechanism is the indirect feeding, consisting of the absorption from the compost easily soluble nutrients produced during the cold composting (commensalism). Thus, nutrients dissolved in water are transported through the mycelium to the fruiting bodies and therefore affect the yield in the third and fourth flush. The change of the feeding method results in substantial yield decrease. The average yields from these flushes do not exceed 5 kg/m2. This situation raises the question as to whether the yields in these flushes, particularly the third one can be increased up to 10 kg/m2. Two hypotheses were examined. The first one assumes that yield gain can be achieved through an increase of nutrient stocks during the direct feeding. It should guarantee the yield at the level of 40 kg/m2 in two flushes and additional 5 kg/m2, which in total could provide the yield of 50 kg/m2 in the third flush. So far this concept has failed. An increase of nutrient stock could not be balanced efficiently with water, which was required to complete requirements of higher dosage of corn feeder. The compost was not able to absorb more water therefore the increase of water amount could have resulted in compost decay. Not balancing water needs caused a yield reduction due to the drying out of compost. The obtained result was opposite of the planned goal as the yield in the third flush decreased. As the second flush yield increased above 17 kg\m2, a short-term retention of fruiting body growth occurred on the casing surface and caused a delay of their emergence from the deeper layers. This situation resulted due to the dying out mycelium on the casing surface during the second flush that was caused by the casing drying out. The production stabilized yielding (5-6 kg/m2) in the fourth flush when the fruiting bodies developed normally. Regarding this situation the second hypothesis of using a standard amount of corn feeder was tested. This approach assumes that the yield can be increased by an addition of monosaccharides and citric acid into casing. Also, in order to stimulate the growth of fruiting bodies an effect of changes of microclimate, mainly lowering an air temperature would enhance growth of fruiting bodies allow the obtained generations to be tested. The first results indicate that this approach might work and would help to collect additional yield above 5 kg/m2 in the third and fourth flush up to a predetermined limit of 10 kg\m2. It still requires some improvement and gradual implementation throughout the plant where the mushroom production and tests are carried out.

The development of this first concept has not been given up. These efforts to increase the compost water capacity and also using the possibility of soaking water placed in the bottom of the box lined with tightly foil have been undertaken.