The first person to introduce the cultivation of mushrooms in the town was William Swayne, a Quaker who had been growing carnations for years. Swayne, a mushroom enthusiast, began growing mushrooms to utilize space under elevated beds. After importing mushroom spawn from Europe, he began experimenting. Today, Kennett holds an annual Mushroom Festival in early September.
Throughout the years, the mushroom industry in Kennett Square has grown to an international level. The city has a long history of integrating new immigrants into its economy. Many immigrants in the past have been Quakers, while others have been Latino and Guatemalan. Today, the city is home to a robust food supply, robust healthcare system, and a thriving mushroom industry.
Today, 65% of all the mushrooms in the United States are grown in the town of Kennett Square, PA. Other towns have indeed produced mushrooms, but only Kennett Square has the title of The Mushroom Capital of the World. However, a little-known fact is that the town became the Mushroom Capital of the World by accident, as settlers from Italy and Mexico settled the area after the Quakers.
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My name is Ulrich Tiemann and since April this year I started working for e-nema. I received a very cordial welcome, plus a lot of support and training from the e-nema team.
It is great working here. Having a background in agriculture, international food trading and sales, I am working myself into the mushroom industry now. I do look forward to getting to know you. Through my work, I aim to support you and add value to the mushroom industry with the help of entomopathogenic nematodes, which e-nema produces at an industrial scale.
Hope meeting you soon!
In 2020, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVMA) conducted targeted inspections of dark cultivations: mushroom cultivation and chicory forcing. Ultimately, 93 percent complied with the rules regarding the use of cultivation protection products. That is close to the target of 95 percent compliance. But this end result was only achieved after inspected companies were given the opportunity to repair imperfections. 10 of the 27 inspected companies did this to succeed. Despite this, there were also two companies that did not have their affairs in order.
NVWA inspectors conducted targeted farm inspections in 2020 on 27 farms with dark cultivations (17x for mushrooms). The focus during these inspections was on the use of plant protection products and biocides.
Imperfections in administration
The results of these targeted inspections show that almost 93 percent of the inspected companies follow the rules regarding the use of plant protection products. This 93 percent is approaching the target of at least 95 percent compliance. However, this favorable final picture was only achieved after the inspected companies took advantage of the opportunity to repair imperfections. This happened at a dozen companies, which mostly involved administrative matters. The most common deficiencies related to the cultivation protection monitor, the biocides administration and the return of expired products.
Twice on report
In addition, there were still two companies where enforcement action was taken. This means that a report of findings has been drawn up by the inspectors. A written warning was also issued once, because the company had not had its affairs in order according to regulations. An administrative fine may be imposed on the basis of a report of findings.
High recovery rate
Although the final picture of 93 percent compliance produces a positive picture, the NVWA finds the number of companies that had to repair deficiencies quite high. The NVWA is therefore exploring possibilities to increase awareness of the administrative obligations among growers.
Source: Nederlandse Voedsel- en Waren Authoriteit (NVMA), in DUTCH.
We are happy to announce that Mertens Mushrooms from Holland has joined our mushroom community!
As a dedicated supplier, Mertens believes in good cooperation towards a healthy growth for every business. The company is well versed in professional agriculture, garden retail and landscaping, and passionately shares its expertise. From its roots in Limburg (The Netherlands), Mertens has developed into a down-to-earth, involved, and most of all reliable and knowledgeable partner.
Mertens has almost 70 years of experience, relies on a team of about 130 permanent employees, has its own vehicle fleet and over 7,000 products in stock. From this basis, Mertens has managed to acquire a leading position in the mushroom sector. When it comes to mushrooms, Mertens is even the world’s biggest player. Our team is active in 41 countries, spread over six continents.
Focus on prevention
Mertens offers a complete package of products for growers and tunnel companies: biocontrol, films, cultivation, compost and sliding mats, fogging equipment, scales and hygiene products. Mertens’ range clearly reflects the trends and developments within the sector, in which prevention is now paramount. Today crop protection products, mainly biological, are only used when absolutely necessary. An example of prevention within mushroom cultivation is the use of nematodes; this worm species plays an important role in the control of mosquitoes in cultivation. Mertens has guided growers intensively in the application of these nematodes. To be able to inform its customers in the best possible way, Mertens ensures that its own expertise is always kept up-to-date.
From its roots in Limburg (The Netherlands), Mertens’ mushroom branch has increasingly focused abroad. Mertens is now also active in the growing mushroom market China, often indirectly through other supplies or consultants. This is a logical development, knowing that the number of Dutch mushroom growers has decreased drastically in recent years. The extensive online communication possibilities facilitate remote contact. In addition, the Mertens website is a source of information and provides a sophisticated ordering system for both domestic and foreign customers. Among other things, mushroom growers can find order lists, safety sheets and product information here. Online sales have grown strongly in the last few years, but Mertens also attaches great value to personal contact.
Mertens is ready to help you!
Moving with the times, synergy with other sectors, cooperation, flexibility, adaptation to market needs… These are the characteristics that have brought Mertens to where it is today, and all this is combined with expert advice.
Meet our Mushroom Team! They will be happy to help you.
The global mushroom cultivation market will grow enormously in the coming years. This is evident from the report of QYResourch. They have mapped the market analysis and insights for the global mushroom cultivation market for a period up to 2027. That is a good prospect for the growers of white mushrooms, oysters and shiitake. But growers of other mushrooms will also benefit from this. The analysis focuses on sales, revenue and forecast. The research process involves the study of various factors affecting the industry, including government, policy, market environment, historical data, current trends, technological innovation, risks, opportunities, barriers and challenges. The market estimates in this report are based on the market price of mushroom cultivation. Figures have also been identified through primary and secondary research at mushroom companies. Primary research included interviews with key opinion leaders or industry experts as well as with directors and marketing executives, while secondary research consisted of examining annual and financial reports. All possible factors influencing the markets included in this study have been taken into account, such as inflation, economic downturn and changes in regulations and policies or other factors. But if we can start from these predictions, growers worldwide have a bright future.
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The consumer demand for residue-free food is increasing, and chemical alternatives in mushroom cultivation are becoming less and less available.
E-nema GmbH supports this change. It is the world market leader and has decades of experience in the production of useful nematodes.
Useful nematodes are natural opponents of many pests in ornamental plant breeding, on strawberry, blueberry and apple orchards as well as in maize cultivation. They are also increasingly being used, successfully within the mushroom cultures, in the fight against sciarids.
Nematodes are barely visible to the naked eye, but they are very effective. They are sent all over the world to be used in biological crop protection.
The main sales markets are currently in Europe and North America, but countries such as New Zealand and Africa are also increasingly relying on biological alternatives to chemical crop protection.
E-nema maintains close contact with its customers and will in future, be at the side of the mushroom grower as a partner with scientific expertise and an effective biological product against sciarids.
Despite the pandemic, sales of the north German company e-nema GmbH rose by more than 30% last year.
The company will continue to invest in modern systems and in the qualifications and motivation of its employees. Their number is expected to increase from currently 60 to 100 in the coming years and a doubling of sales from 10 million in 2019 to 20 million by 2024 is also planned.
In these huge bioreactors, e-nema GmbH produces useful nematodes for biological crop protection
Photo: k-film, Michael Kottmeier
Cultivating mushrooms produces a lot of waste. For every kilogram of mushrooms produced, about three kilograms of soil-like material containing straw, manure and peat is left behind. In the EU, this results in more than 3 billion kilograms of waste per year.
Managing this waste is a challenge. Although it is rich in organic matter, and therefore useful as compost, used mushroom substrate – the soil-like material – contains a lot of water, which makes it heavy and unprofitable to transport. Some of it is used as compost in agricultural land close by but the vast majority that remains ends up being stored temporarily then landfilled.
‘Every year we have more and more waste,’ said Pablo Martinez, project manager at the Mushroom Technological Research Center of La Rioja in Spain. ‘So, we need larger and larger areas just to manage this waste.’
More mushroom waste could soon be given a second life though thanks to new innovations. Dr Bart van der Burg, Director of Innovation at BioDetection Systems in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and his team are interested in discarded mushroom parts, such as stems, and deformed mushrooms, which are part of the cultivation leftovers. They are aiming to extract components such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats and chitin – a fibrous substance – from them as part of the Funguschain project. Their goal is to incorporate these extracts into new products such as novel foods, cosmetics and bioplastics. ‘I think we will end up with at least three products coming out of this project,’ said Dr van der Burg.
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This article was originally published in Horizon, the EU Research and Innovation magazine and written by Sandrine Ceurstemont.
Imagine being able to sustainably produce a nutritious and delicious food product that is not constrained by specific environmental conditions required to support a predominately plant-based agricultural industry.
Kennesaw State University researcher Christopher Cornelison is exploring the possibilities of improving the food supply chain by leveraging innovative technology to expand the opportunities for mushroom production in Georgia.
“We must be able to develop sustainable methods for producing readily preserved and nutritious foods without regional climactic limitations,” said Cornelison, an assistant professor of microbiology in the College of Science and Mathematics and director of the BioInnovation Laboratory at KSU. “Mushrooms are an ideal crop as they only rely on three environmental factors that can be regulated to optimize growth yield—humidity, temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations.”
Although sales of these spore-bearing fruiting bodies of fungi accounted for more than $3.1 billion in U.S. economic impact according to a 2019 American Mushroom Institute report, they are still underutilized.
Cornelison said more than half of the nation’s mushroom production is associated with a single county in Pennsylvania. The substrate used in this production, primarily mulch, is transported from the Midwest to meet the demand.
That is why Cornelison is now focused on determining the feasibility of growing culinary and commodity mushrooms in Georgia via low-cost and efficient production systems housed in modified shipping containers with embedded environmental control systems.
With a new $25,000 award from the venture development program of the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA), Cornelison’s goal is to study the potential commercialization of growing these mushrooms on media or substrates of regional agricultural wastes such as peanut shells, corn chaff or spent brewing grains.
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