The per capita consumption of mushrooms in the US has increased since 1980, from 2.6 to 3.8 pounds per person in 2008-09 (1). The mushroom industry is heavily influenced by the lifestyles and preferences of consumers. This level of cropping and sales intensity is undoubtedly requiring further advancements in mushroom yield, quality and shelf life. Thus, new innovations and research to improve yields and quality must be tested in experimental facilities. Penn State is the only remaining academic facility dedicated to mushroom research in the U.S. and Canada. Contemporary mushroom production and processing facilities are very energy intensive. Anticipated large price increases in energy and mandated reductions in carbon footprints are looming in the near-term future. Various strategies need to be further developed and refined for the ever-changing governmental, economic, and environmental constraints that the industry will be facing. At the same time, these strategies must also focus on increasing the profitability of mushroom production and processing facilities. Strategies must be flexible and dynamic in nature to cope with changing constraints and the numerous types of mushroom facilities. The project may result in the reduction of the co-product SMS and reduced its impact of the local communities and environment. Better disease management will result in less pesticide use, reduce cropping cost and yield loss. Better understanding of the energy use and consumption by the growers will also reduce cost of growing mushrooms. These and other outcomes of the project should enable mushroom farmers to continue to be productive and remain competitive in the North American market. The project will provide documents, in the form of extension fact sheets and scientific publications that will be made available to the public and the mushroom industry. In addition, it will provide the technology transfer through extension outreach needed to educate growers in approaches to environmentally controlled composting.
|Effective start/end date||7/1/10 → 6/30/15|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture