5 Ways to improve the mushroom yield


If you want to live from growing mushrooms, then the mushroom yield is one aspect you must pay attention to.
As the higher the yield, the more revenue you make.

While many focus on the obvious one, I will talk about five different ways to improve your mushroom yield in today’s video.

The first way to improve the mushroom yield is the mushroom species you choose to cultivate. Especially as not all mushroom species will convert substrate the same way.

Assuming you would use the same sawdust for the following mushrooms, you could expect a biological efficiency of 150 from Enoki, 40 from Shimeji, 100 to 200 from Shiitake, 80 from Nameko, 20 from Reishi, or around 100 from Oyster mushrooms.

But within the oyster mushroom species, you will find a round 90 for the King oyster, 50 from the Yellow oyster, 120 from the Pink oyster, and 150 from the Indian oyster.

While yield represents how much mushroom you get from each bag the biological efficiency puts this value into relationship to the substrate needed. Meaning the biological efficiency tells you how good a mushroom can convert the substrate.

Therefore, choosing the suitable mushroom species is crucial to producing the highest outcome possible. But this is only possible if you use a suitable substrate.

In the following table, four substrate types were listed – wheat straw, maize stem residue, barley straw, and lawn cut. All of these *four substrate were inoculated with Pleurotus ostreatus and Pleurotus Florida.

The author found a biological efficiency of 118 for wheat straw, 81 for maize stem residue, 105 for barley straw, and 64 for the lawn cut.

Effect of substrate
Figure 1: Effect of substrate on mushroom yield [1]

If you supplement these *four substrates, which is the third way to improve your yield, you can alter the outcome. As a supplement, the authors used wheat bran, rice bran, soybean powder, or a mixture of rice bran with soybean powder.

If we look, for example, at a wheat straw, we will see the following values – 139 for wheat bran, 174 for rice bran, 157 for soybean powder, and 188 for the mixture of rice bran with soybean powder.

Effect of supplementation
Figure 2: Effect of supplementation on mushroom yield [1]

Again, the mushroom species you are using lead to different outcomes. For Pleurotus ostreatus, a BE of 116 was found. While for Pleurotus florida, a BE of 127.

After optimizing the substrate and using the suitable mushroom species, the next step is to optimize the disinfection method to increase the yield and, therefore, the biological efficiency. Different disinfection methods can be applied depending on the substrate you want to use. Still, not all of them are the optimal ones.

The following results were found after treating a mixture of sawdust and wheat straw supplemented with wheat bran – 40:40:20. Autoclaving at 121°C for 1.5 hours led to a biological efficiency of 80, Scalding at 60°C to 47, Scalding at 80°C to 91, and Scalding at 100°C to 77 – all three scalding processes were applied for 1 hour.

Effect of disinfection on mushroom yield
Figure 3: Effect of disinfection on mushroom yield [2]

Indicating that temperature matters, but too much of it can reduce the biological efficiency.

The fifth step to improve your yield is the spawn rate you are using. The following study could show that the mushroom yield increases with the spawn rate, but if you use too much spawn, the mushroom yield starts to drop.

Now that you know how to improve your mushroom yield, you should not solely rely on other mushroom farmers’ recipes. Start with them, and then start your own experiments to find the best combination which fits your specific needs.

Talk to you in the next one.



[1] Own table based on M. Jafarpour et. al (2012) High protein complementation with high fiber substrates for oyster mushroom cultures, Academic Journals, Article Number – B94086F35341 Vol.11(14), pp. 3284-3289 , February 2012 https://doi.org/10.5897/AJB11.1473, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

[2] Own table based on ATILA, Funda. Effect of Different substrate Disinfection Methods on the Production of Pleurotus ostreatus. Journal of Agricultural Studies, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 4, p. 52-64, oct. 2016. ISSN 2166-0379. Available at: https://www.macrothink.org/journal/index.php/jas/article/view/10051. Date accessed: 01 jan. 2022. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/jas.v4i4.10051., https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/