NEW: What’s next with the standardization of substrate?

Biuletyn Producenta Pieczarek PIECZARKI 1/2018  S. 30-32

What’s next with the standardization of substrate?

Dr Nikodem Sakson, Poznań

I asked the question in the last issue of the Bulletin about the possibility of standardization of a substrate used in growing mushrooms based on the usage of cellulose supplements. It has been three months since then. What has happened during this time that would bring us closer to answering this question? A number of tests have been conducted in laboratory and a process of implementation of Aril KK Premium has been started.

Laboratory tests

A number of tests have been conducted using Petri dishes and containers with 0, 5 kg of substrate in them. (Photo. 1). Previous assumptions that mushroom’s mycelium is going to digest new supplement and that it can be a substantial component in nutrition of Agaricus have been confirmed. Scientific tests from the eighties are being used here. They showed that the main source of energy nutrients for mushrooms is straw (90%), and only the rest (10%) is biomass consisting of dead microorganism that underwent the process of maturation. All of this is a confirmation of the assumption, that digestibility of glucose is improving with the amount of torn fibres in straw, which allow mycelium to gain easier access to cellulose and hemicellulose. All of the above was the basis for further work with this supplement.

Tests during production

Usefulness of new Aril KK Premium and other supplements during a production of mushrooms on phase 2 substrate in a cube was being tested in the area of few square meters in cultivation hall. The results indicate usefulness of the new product. There was a several per cents increase of yield of a very good quality on a very good quality substrate, on which for comparison purposes the yield without the supplement was 28,7 kg/m2. There was a significant increase of quality in second and third flushes, with a very small percentage of fruiting bodies that could be qualified as the weakest (class C). In addition, the fruiting bodies had better colour and their features showed better effects after being processed. Further actions in implementation and testing what kind of results could be achieved on a wider production scale were taken.

Similar tests with Aril KK Premium were conducted in a cultivation hall on a phase III substrate with mushrooms produced for a fresh market. Tests confirmed an achievement of assumed effects like:

  • quicker regeneration of the substrate and dissolving of the supplement in substrate few days after being placed on the shelf,
  • lower rate of substrate activity, easier control of thermal effects,
  • the beginning of the yield started a day earlier,
  • better spread of fruiting bodies,
  • significant increase in the quality of fruiting bodies and increase in yield in second and third flush,


First implementations

At the time of publishing of this article yield in full six week cycle wasn’t conducted. That is why only occurrences accompanying production with Aril KK Premium until the first flush can be pointed out. They confirm the changes that were mentioned in parts 1-3 of this article. Further observations can be made:

  • The substrate has to be properly placed on the shelf. If it is not compact enough, it is easy to cause overflowing of the substrate, which may result in its local rotting. It is a result of greater water capacity of the supplement. It is also harder to maintain the temperature of the substrate up to the moment of putting water into it. Pillow effect. On the other hand, if the substrate is compacted too much the result is inability of putting water into it, which makes the cooling process harder and excessive humidity in places of contact between the substrate and casing soil.
  • The supplement has to be mixed very carefully with the substrate. Assumption that maximum amount of supplement should not be higher than 20% of substrate’s volume is being verified. Only in this case the effect of surrounding of a straw blade by a supplement can be achieved, without creating places where there is only supplement, far away from the mycelium, which makes it harder to transfer, especially taking into consideration its high humidity.
  • Thermal effect is still present during production on phase 3 substrate. Aril KK Premium supplement makes it easier to control, because of lower protein content. The results of using this supplement are achieved only when substrate’s temperature is no higher than 25-27°C before the shock. It can be done by lowering the temperature early enough, at the time of beginning of putting water into the substrate and raising the temperature of cold substrates, for example when it is 23°C, and with addition to intensive movement of the air to nullify the temperature difference between the air and the substrate.
  • it can be assumed that. when mushrooms have bigger nutrition resources, it is easier to spread the flush. Tendencies of spontaneous spreading out can be observed, in the same conditions as during binding without the supplement. The first buds appear a day earlier, and fruiting bodies have significantly better quality.

Nevertheless the main goal is to increase the yield in the second and the third flush with a significant improvement of quality. One has to wait for the full assessment.

Usage of Aril KK Premium is in the implementation phase. There is not enough data about the supplement’s effects during the process of mushroom production. As an innovation it can be divided, which means that it can be implemented gradually, starting with smaller dosages and only in some parts of the crop.

Polska wersja artykułu / Polish version