How mushrooms grow and the yields are determined at filling. Assessing the compost and casing soil determines the final quality of the mushrooms. After this assessment, the settings are made on the filling machine. Any mistakes made at filling, will haunt you for the rest of the cropping cycle. On larger farms “growers" focus increasingly less on filling. Just a quick look at the compost and casing soil at the start, set the machine… and that's about it.
Why is filling so important?
Compost quality is influenced by: colour, texture, smell, temperature, hard or soft structure. How much water can the compost absorb and should you water at filling? How well will the CAC material grow? Only paying attention during the first 15 minutes of filling is not enough to get these details right. The least you can do as a grower is to be physically present three or four times at filling, to check the compost, casing soil and the filling quality. And have a chat with the filling machine operator.
The operator also has to be almost a grower; not only with an understanding of the machine, but also understanding what compost and casing soil quality is and how to handle the raw materials correctly. And not what I keep on seeing more often: filling the growing room with compost and casing as quickly as possible and not paying enough attention to the actual filling process. Sometimes the result is a whole groove along the bed because, for example, there was a piece of wood lodged in the CAC axle. There won't be any mushrooms growing there....
The operator should therefore ALWAYS stand by the filling machine and watch the machine where the compost with casing enters the growing room. The operator should look at the CAC and levelling axles. From this position, you can see what you are doing and stop the machine immediately if anything goes wrong.
Filling is the foundation of further growth. It's not simply completing a task, but also thinking about the quality of compost and casing you are dealing with and how it should be handled during filling and afterwards during growing.
The next masterclass course will be organised from 9 – 14 March 2020. This course is fully booked!
NEW: Live Training Mushroom Signals Essentials
Mushroom Signals Essentials live training will be organised from 8-12 June 2020.
Live training combined with e-learning. E-learning offers the basics, leaving more time for individual questions and farm walks during live training!
Read more by click on this link
Mark den Ouden