Growers have often recently been confronted by very active compost during certain cultivation phases. This can have a negative effect on the production and quality of the mushrooms, particularly if, for example, too much moisture evaporates from the casing soil during blow down. Compost showing this kind of activity is often a bit drier and coarser in structure. A number of measures can be taken to reduce extreme compost activity.
- Do not use an extremely high filling weight in the growing room or add too much supplement (fill maximum 90 kilos per square metre and add 16 kilo per ton supplement, if activity is always too high).
- During filling give the compost maximum 5 litres water per square metre (if the compost feels rough and dry).
- Compact the compost a little firmer.
- Try to ensure the supplier delivers compost that has incubated for a minimum of 16 days.
- After filling, irrespective of the compost temperature, cool well to keep the compost below 24 degrees before the recovery period, so the compost temperature is not too high when blow down starts. The compost temperature must not be allowed to exceed maximum 27 degrees.
John Peeters, C point