Coping with new National Living Wage regulations - Mushrooms

Coping with new National Living Wage regulations - Mushrooms

Many if not all mushroom businesses will be operating very lean enterprises. Nonetheless introduction of the National Living Wage will be challenging. AHDB Horticulture has funded a number of projects to improve management of diseases and pests which take up valuable staff time and dramatically increase the costs of production.


Two projects have recently been funded. They have only just begun but keep an eye out for results as they become available over the next couple of years

  • M 062 Inhibiting fungicide degradation in casing, and evaluating fungicides, biopesticides and disease area covering methods for fungal disease control
  • CP 158 Application and Management of Biopesticides for Efficacy and Reliability (AMBER)


But it’s also worth reconsidering the results of past research:

EU project MushTV on Trichoderma and Virus

M 051 Developing an accurate, quantitative and predictive test for Mushroom Virus X

M 057 Influence of ammonia on eradication of Trichoderma during compost pasteurization

M 050 Trichoderma aggressivum feuropaeum (Th2): Epidemiology in bulk Phase 3 systems

M 048 Trichoderma green mould diagnostic assays for improved disease management

M 047 Factors and practices influencing the susceptility of composts to infection by different compost moulds and to subsequent crop loss

M 044 Potential for biological control of sciarid and phorid flies using the predatory beetle Atheta coriaria

M 036 Oviposition substrate selection in sciarid and phorid fly pests

M 025a Testing of twelve commercial strains of Agaricus bisporus to determine their susceptibility to sciarids and phorids

M 09a Control of mushroom flies with the predatory mite Hypoaspis miles


Robotic and automated systems are beginning to be introduced to mushroom production around the world and AHDB has funded preliminary research on this:

CP 022 Robotic harvesting (PhD)


Other research has focused on optimising energy use and the working environment:

PE/PO 011a GrowSave An energy and resource efficiency KE programme for the protected cropping sector www.growsave.co.uk

M 061 Assessing bioaerosol concentrations in mushroom farm packhouses and growing facilities

02/11 Controlling exposure to dust and bioaerosols on farms growing common commercial mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus)


Finally AHDB Horticulture has funded a programme of research on compost to ensure efficient and timely production:

13/08 Mushrooms – Improving spawn-running performance

M 050 Trichoderma aggressivum feuropaeum (Th2): Epidemiology in bulk Phase 3 systems

M 049 Effect of mixing proportions of Phase II and Phase III composts on cropping

M 056 Understanding mushroom nutrition: improving yield, substrate efficiency and utilisation and flavor

M 060 Developing alternatives to peat in casing materials for mushroom production

M 055 Desk study of the potential alternative materials to peat in mushroom casing

M 054 Mushroom casings: screening of microbial populations in relation to mushroom quality

M 053 Developing new sustainable mushroom casings in relation to supply of raw materials and mushroom cropping and quality