Category Archives: mushrooms

Swapping wheat straw with switchgrass to grow mushrooms

MushroomBed - webBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Guelph – Ontario mushroom growers can substitute switchgrass for wheat straw when they’re growing their crops without impacting yield or quality, while also reducing their production costs.

That’s the outcome of a research project led by Mushrooms Canada and funded through the Ontario Farm Innovation Program (OFIP).

“Ontario’s mushroom growers have encountered the perfect storm regarding raw materials for the production of mushroom growing medium, known as mushroom substrate, so identifying substitutes for the traditional ingredients has become a high priority,” explains Ryan Koeslag, Executive Vice President of Mushrooms Canada.

Standard raw materials are wheat straw, poultry litter, horse stable bedding, gypsum and water. For maximum mushroom production, substrate has to contain both a source of carbon – wheat straw, hay or stable bedding – and nitrogen from poultry litter or stable bedding. Continue reading

The 10 most popular innovation stories of 2015

2991-AgInnovation-Logo-avatarBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Guelph – As we get ready to bid 2015 good-bye, we thought we would take a look back at the many stories we’ve covered this year. All are focused on food and farming, on Ontario, and on innovation.

We’ve met some fascinating people over the last 12 months and covered some great innovations. Of course we loved them all, but here are the ones that resonated with you the most – our top 10 most popular agricultural innovation stories of 2015.

(By the way, our French-speaking readers have slightly different preferences – click here for our most popular French language stories). Continue reading

Ontario-built robot system could automate mushroom picking

Robot gently attaches to the mushroom it is about to harvestAt first glance, mushrooms and cars don’t have a lot in common.

But that could change down the road, bringing labour savings for farmers and more mushrooms to market for Canadians.

Using concepts long used in automotive manufacturing, researchers at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) have developed a robot to pick mushrooms. Continue reading