Mushroom production continues to decline across the U.S. According to the USDA the volume of mushroom sales during this year’s growing season at about 758 million pounds, a 7% year-over-year decrease from last year, and nearly 10% lower than the 2018-19 season. In addition to the drop in production, growers earned less this year for their crop, by about a penny per pound. Lori Harrison with the American Mushroom Institute, said there are several reasons for shrinking production. First, the lack of workers, especially during the pandemic. Second, global climate change, which she said is impacting production, even though mushrooms are grown indoors.
“The mushroom growers use a lot of straw and hay; that’s the nutrients the mushrooms grow in. So if you’ve got straw or hay that’s been waterlogged or grown without a lot of rain then those nutrients are compromised and it’ll effect the yields of the mushroom.”
Harrison said the high capital costs of constructing new growing houses also is preventing producers from expanding production.
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