Phase III Compost - Agaricus

The compost is obtained from a mixture that contains: wheat straw, nitrogen fountains, gypsum, and water. This blend (Phase 0) will be submitted to a controlled aerobic composting process (Phase I) that consists of assuring high oxygen levels are present in the mix (6-12%) at determined temperature levels (40-80ºC) so that the biochemical conditions soften the straw and the decomposition of materials and the integration of nitrogen in an ammonic form (Ammonification) can take place. At the end of this phase, nearly all of the easily assimilated carbohydrates have disappeared, whilst the ones remaining will, in an upcoming phase, contribute to feeding the growing mushrooms.

That way, the compost will become selective in producing white mushrooms (Agaricus).

-> Phase I is followed by Phase II that includes two intermediate phases: Pasteurization and Accommodation. These occur in totally closed waterproof tunnels, where the variables Air Volume, Oxygen, and Temperature are rigorously controlled.

Pasteurization: consists of submitting the compost to 57/60ºC degrees for eight hours in order to eliminate any unwanted bacterial organisms, pathogens or plagues like, for instance, mites and nematodes that might have survived Phase I.

Acommodation: allows recovery and development of thermofilic micro flora, so that the compost becomes selective in producing Agaricus white mushrooms. At this point, excess ammoniac (NH) is eliminated and reduced to less than 5 ppm (Dräger) so that the compost can be inoculated with mycelium.

-> Phase II is followed by Phase III:

The compost cools at 25ºC degrees, free of ammoniac (NH), and is ready to receive the seed (inoculated mycelium with wheat or millet grains). The seed is delicately mixed in the compost, guaranteeing an even distribution in the paste mix. Six litters of seeds to one tonne of compost is the optimum amountto obtain maximum productivity.

Past 14/16 days, all the compost should have been colonized by the mycelium. Presenting, at this point, a brown/violet likewise colour, the compost will be ready to incorporate the casing soil.