To successfully cultivate mushrooms, two factors must be taken into account: the mushroom’s biology, in other words, the properties of their development, growth, nutrition and reproduction and also the necessity to create maximally favorable conditions for the functioning of the mushrooms’ biological mechanisms.
It’s very important for the mushroom grower to develop a correct attitude toward these factors, and constantly improve his knowledge about mushrooms. Thereto, various technological documentation the analysis of which permits solving almost all problems that occur while cultivating mushrooms, is kept in farms. There are many options for establishing optimal conditions for mushroom cultivation - «there are as many opinions as there are mushroom growers». Here it is important to understand that the farm is created for the mushrooms and not vise versa. The basis of a successful work of a farm is a strict and thorough execution of each element of a technological chain with the maximal quality for the mushrooms, in optimal periods of time. In case of poor execution of one of the technological elements in all subsequent stages of mushroom cultivation, various problems could develop. Often, while selecting the options for the creation of a farm, or while trying to solve a technological problem, novice mushroom growers make decisions not in the «interest» of the mushrooms, or try to adjust the mushrooms’ «life style» to theirs. All this, generally, leads to a decrease in the yield. The optimal option for production and the technological process will be the one which will maximally satisfy the needs of a mushroom, with minimal expenses and simple technical performance.
Picking this option without the help of an experienced specialist is rather hard.
For a conclusion it can be said that creating a farm and cultivating mushrooms there, includes the following basic aspects:
- The mushrooms’ requirements resulting from their biological properties. The sum of these basic requirements is the technological basis of mushroom cultivation.
- Creating conditions (rooms, machinery, tools, raw materials, different equipment, energy supply). The optimal combination of the mushrooms’ requirements and the resources of a specific farm is this farm’s mushroom cultivation technology.
- The human factor. Today, there are no mushroom farms that work completely without people. And it’ll not likely be possible in the near future. Using various machinery, the computerization and automation of separate technological processes can greatly lighten people’s work, but not replace it. On mushroom farms in Russia, which are created from whatever available, the human factor, as experience shows, is the greatest susceptibility. Unfortunately, farms’ managers underestimate this problem. They don’t pay enough attention to personnel handling, they save on specialist training and care little about labour organization (developing a staff list, job descriptions etc.). Perhaps the most important factor that affects the quality of people’s work is the system of labour remuneration, to which little attention is paid and it always comes in the last place.
- Making a profit, (which is why any farm is created in the first place). The profit and the efficiency of the farm will be a final and the most objective evaluation of the farm’s work. A maximal profit can be realized without a record productivity of mushrooms. Therefore, the best option for production is the one which allows obtaining a record in efficiency and not in the crop capacity.
A mushroom farm should be created starting with the fourth aspect. It’s rather thoughtless to begin creating a farm with practical works, not having a full idea of what you want, written on a paper. Saving and disorder are not suitable in this case, and they often result in unrecoverable consequences while cultivating mushrooms.