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Oyster mushroom cultivation as an additional crop on champignon and exotic farms


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Features of oyster mushroom cultivation as a supplementary crop on champignon and exotic farms.

If you grow exotics or button mushrooms and are thinking about growing oyster mushrooms additionally, this article is for you.

I’ll tell you what nuances you need to consider when adopting a new crop.


For button mushroom growing rooms.

There are many successful examples of growing oyster mushrooms in champignon rooms without changing ventilation and using existing racks. Although in the arrangement of oyster mushroom blocks, the so-called “wall” is preferred, that is, a continuous arrangement of blocks in rows. This is done to ensure that the air from the ducts goes straight down, without dispersing or creating unnecessary swirls between the tiers – as oyster mushrooms require faster air flows. However, it is possible to properly set up a ventilation system even with button mushrooms racks.

Technologist’s note:

  1. If the ducts hang higher than the 3.5 meter height, they should be lowered to at least 3 meters and not load the last tier of the shelves. Or be prepared for the lower shelves of blocks to grow worse than the rest. Especially if the incubation period will take place in the same room. This is because the flow loses velocity and the quality of airflow becomes lower.
  2. Oyster mushroom primordia are very sensitive to the fine mist droplets that settle on mushroom pins. A thin film of condensation can kill the primordia or cause deformation of the fruiting bodies. The humidification system in the oyster mushroom growing roomsis installed in such a way that the air from the ducts reaches the mushrooms already humidified.
  3. Because oyster mushrooms need more fresh air than mushrooms – calculate whether your system can handle heating and/or cooling it.
  4. If you have only gravity louvers and/or check dampers as exhaust ventilation, I suggest additionally placing an axial exhaust fan at the very top of the exterior wall or on the ceiling. The capacity of this fan depends on the length of the room and partly on the arrangement of the units.

In any case, the capacity of the exhaust fan should be at least 20% of the capacity of the supply fan.

In the climate control program, a command to switch on this fan should be prescribed if all other methods of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide have failed.

Also this fan will be used by the technologist when manually controlling the room in case of mass tying of primordia simultaneously on 100% of the blocks in the room.

By the way – this is another difficulty in growing oyster mushrooms. Your technologist needs to be prepared to manually operate the room or train operators to do so.

Since it is not possible to prescribe algorithms for the sequence of temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide lowering during mass development of primordia. This is due to the fact that not always opening the fresh air damper according to the algorithm leads to the desired result. This includes the occurrence of dew point.

Sometimes also the priority is not to lower the carbon dioxide level, but to lower the temperature in the room by changing the temperature of the heat transfer fluid in the heat exchanger. Since it is related to the shape and appearance of the primordia that appeared – you cannot create an algorithm that takes this phenomenon into account.

This doesn’t mean you have to manually manage the process every time. Usually primordia do appear within 3-4 days, even if all the blocks are done on the same day. However, this is something you need to be prepared for.

For rooms with exotic mushrooms:

  1. Oyster mushrooms cannot be grown in the same chamber with any other exotic mushrooms. It needs different climatic conditions: humidity, CO2 level, required flow rate – oyster mushrooms have all these parameters different. Consider whether you are willing to invest money in developing a new mushroom species. That is, you will need to allocate a separate room and make there ventilation and microclimate, characteristic specifically for oyster mushrooms. In future articles, I’ll talk more about ventilation.
  2. Common oyster mushroom cannot be grown in the same room as yellow and pink oyster mushrooms. They have different growing temperatures. But you can use yellow and pink.
  3. If you do decide to “give it a little try” and put oyster mushroom blocks in your exotics room, here are some tips:
  • place the oyster mushroom blocks in the room with the lowest carbon dioxide levels. Preferably no more than 1000 ppm. And no more than 88-89% humidity. Otherwise, you risk getting yellow spots on the oyster mushroom cap. If Pseudomonas tolaasii is found in these spots, you will infect the entire room with brown spot disease. This disease is not only dangerous to champignon, but also to Flammulina, Yeringia, Hypsisigus, Grifolia and Auricularia.
  • choose an oyster mushroom strain that is less sensitive to high CO2 levels. Of all the strains I know of, it’s K-17.
  • Place the oyster mushroom blocks where the airflow is most active. This will most likely be the area near the exhaust fan (gravity louvers).
  • If you have high-pressure nozzles directly in the grow chamber, you need to find a way to protect the growing oyster mushroom primordia from small mist droplets. Maybe turn off part of the tape, or turn it around. Maybe put blocks of oyster mushrooms on the bottom shelves only. But! Don’t forget about the airflow right next to the mushrooms themselves – it should be quite noticeable.

Larisa Teslenkova, consultant-technologist, author of the website and YouTube channel “Oyster mushroom expert”.

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