Development of new cultivation technology for straw mushroom (Volvariella

Paddy straw mushroom (Volvariella volvacea) is an edible mushroom variety which can be cultivated under tropical and sub tropical conditions. In Sri Lanka, though the majority of farmers grow oyster mushroom they are willing to undertake other mushroom types, including straw mushroom and milky mushroom. Straw mushroom cultivation is highly rewarding because of the favourable climatic conditions in Sri Lanka and the abundant availability of raw materials. The existing outdoor method for straw mushroom cultivation introduced by the Department of Agriculture (DOA) gives low or/and irregular yield. As the optimum environmental conditions are crucial in straw mushroom production, an indoor cultivation method using a polythene house was tested with the existing outdoor method. Cotton waste and paddy straw were used as the growing media in both outdoor and indoor conditions under four treatments viz. paddy straw compost in polythene house (T1), cotton waste compost in polythene house (T2), paddy straw in outdoor environment (T3) and cotton waste in outdoor environment (T4), arranged in a Completely Randomized Design with three replicates. The results revealed that,the indoor cultivation method with cotton waste compost substrate (T1) gave significantly higher values for average yield (6901.18 kg/ha) and average marketable yield (6489 kg/ha) compared to other treatments. Outdoor culture in straw substrate (T3) resulted lowest values for the same yield parameters (567.13 kg/ha, 516.31 kg/ha, respectively). Indoor cultivation method with paddy straw compost and cotton waste compost both resulted higher yields when compared to the outdoor culture. As paddy straw is freely available in Sri Lanka, combining of paddy straw compost and cotton waste compost as the substrate for straw mushroom culture under indoor conditions would be more profitable.

A S Nissanka1, P Rajapakshe2 and R H M K Ratnayake1
1Department of Horticulture and Landscape Gardening, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka
2Regional Agricultural Research and Development Centre, Gonawila, Sri Lanka

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