Hello. Sign In
Standards Store

Mushroom Pest and Disease Control: A Colour Handbook

2007 Edition, October 26, 2007

Complete Document

Detail Summary

Active, Most Current

Additional Comments:
ISBN: 978-1-84076-083-5
Price (USD)
Add to Cart

Product Details:

  • Revision: 2007 Edition, October 26, 2007
  • Published Date: October 26, 2007
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: CRC Press (CRC)
  • Page Count: 193
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:


Mushrooms are a very important crop and are grown commercially in many countries. China grows more types of mushrooms than any other country and is the largest overall producer accounting for some 32%. Worldwide, Agaricus bisporus, the Paris mushroom, button mushroom or white mushroom (the subject of this book), is probably the most widely grown. It is eaten both fresh and processed, especially canned. Modern production methods are highly mechanized, requiring detailed knowledge and a high level of management skill for successful and continuous cropping. Inevitably investment and production costs are high and returns have not kept pace with inflation, though the crop is still one of the most valuable in many of the countries where it is grown. In the USA alone in 2003–2004, the Agaricus crop was valued at 880 million dollars and was produced by only 125 growers. Twenty-six of these, who produced over 10 million pounds each (c. 4.5 million kg), accounted for 65% of the total production. The situation in Europe is similar where there is also a trend for the numbers of producers to decrease whilst farm size increases.

Fifteen years have passed since the publication of the second edition of the book Mushrooms: Pest and Disease Control (published by Intercept, Andover, Hants, England) and this is a major revision of that book. During this time the mushroom industry, worldwide, has undergone many changes. In the USA, fresh mushroom production has increased by 14% over the last 10 years, while processed mushrooms have decreased by a similar amount. In Europe, there has been a significant shift in the importance of the crop. In Poland for instance, production has increased considerably whereas in the UK it has decreased by over 50% in the last 5 years. Cultural developments have continued at a rapid pace, and the production of compost in bulk, up to and including fully colonized compost, is now common practice. The use of bins or bunkers in the early stages of composting has had major effects, both culturally, and on the biology of the process. Finer grades of peat are used in casing, and sugar beet lime, a by-product of sugar production from sugar beet, is very commonly used as the lime source. These changes have resulted in wetter casing, and in turn, this can have a major effect on disease incidence. Wetter casing is considered by some to be one of the main factors in the international increase in cobweb disease. Bulk production of compost and its distribution to growers has accentuated the Trichoderma compost mould problem.

The discovery of Mushroom virus X disease, which shows many of the features of La France disease but with an apparent absence of virus particles, has resulted in a renewed interest in ‘virus diseases' of the crop. Research facilities are essential if such new diseases are to be understood and controlled. Unfortunately there has been decreasing support for research and extension in many countries, largely as a result of the withdrawal of government funding. The global industry urgently needs to reassess its research and extension requirements in order to make the best use of decreasing international resources.

Pesticide (fungi and insects) resistance has affected the control of sciarid flies and diseases such as Cobweb and Verticillium. The numbers of pesticides available to mushroom growers has decreased and is likely to decrease further. Biological control of pests and pathogens has not developed at the pace predicted some years ago. There are still no biologically active products available for the control of fungal pathogens, although sciarid control with nematodes is now an established practice.

In addition to all these problems and changes is the growing public concern for the environment. Compost odours, run-off water from compost yards, the use of disinfectants and pesticides, the possible contamination of water courses near to farms, have all added to perceived environmental problems associated with mushroom production. Industries in many countries have addressed many of these potential problems but at a cost. Returns for the product sometimes barely cover costs, and in

countries where the crop is mainly marketed through supermarkets there is constant pressure to improve quality, while returns remain constant or even in decline. The high cost of harvesting continues to be a major factor and has resulted in the use of cheap labour as well as the expansion of the industry into countries where labour is less expensive.

Against this background, effective pest and disease control is essential if farms are to remain viable. The aim of this book is the same as that in Mushrooms: Pest and Disease Control, namely to provide information on the problems of the crop and the best ways to overcome them to remain in business. In this respect, all the chapters have been revised, some in a major way, and many colour pictures added. Inevitably there is some duplication, for instance in methods of pest and disease control, where the same or similar points are made for various problems. However, in a new Chapter 3 details of processes and procedures with checklists are given, and referred to more briefly under specific problems.

In order to preserve and get the best results from the decreasing number of pesticides available to the industry, it is vital that growers are totally familiar with the label recommendations; not only those that refer to biological efficacy but also the safety instruc - tions. The industry may one day have to manage without pesticides, and the development of pest- or pathogen-resistant strains of spawn still seems to be a long way off. For these reasons alone, it is vital that growers use all means available to them in the management of pest and pathogen populations.

Finally, a word of caution: the international situation regarding the registration of pesticides for use on the crop is ever-changing. There is also no universal agreement on which pesticides should or should not be registered. Each country makes its own decision. With the present speed of change, it is likely that some active ingredients mentioned in this book will have been withdrawn from use in some countries by the time the book is published. In addition, the rate of use of formalin suggested in this book is the maximum permissible rate for the UK; this rate may not be permissible in other countries. It is therefore vitally important that the national list of approved products is consulted before a choice of chemical is made and that it should be used at the rate shown on the label. The product labels must be read very carefully before using a chemical and the stated safety recommendations must be strictly followed at all times. The most toxic pesticides and Formalin require the operator to wear full protective clothing including the correct respirator filter. The product label also gives a harvest interval and this, together with the correct rate, will insure that the treated mushrooms do not have undesirable residues.

It is hoped that this book will be of value to the mushroom industry in every country where the crop is grown. The metric units used in this book are not in common usage in all countries and with this in mind Appendix 3, which contains conversions to other units, has been included.

We express our appreciation to the many people who have contributed in one way or another to the information contained in this book. In particular, we wish to thank Dr Helen Grogan for her very significant research contribution during the past 12 years. We also thank Judy Allan, John Burden, Alan Clift, F.J. Gea, Geoff Izard, Martmari van Greuning, Brian Oxley, Steve Newton, Peter Romaine, Greg Seymour, and Andrew Tinsley for information and photographs and in particular Dr Peter Mills for the use of photographs (78, 101, 122, 130–140, 146–150, 156, and 159) that belonged to the Glass - house Crops Research Institute and Warwick/HRI. We are also extremely grateful to Professor Fred Last and Pat Fletcher for their very useful comments on, and help with the preparation of the manuscript.

Finally we are very grateful for the contributions which are also acknowledged in the appropriate places in the book, by Professor Danny Rinker for his North American perspective, to Jane Smith for help with the pest section, and to Professor Albert Eicker for his contribution to the moulds chapter.