Why measure CO2 in mushroom farms?
The value of carbon dioxide in the air is very important for growth in mushroom farms. When the CO₂ concentration is measured, adjustments can be made for optimal growth rate. Different CO₂ values also make the mushrooms incubate in different ways: one specific concentration makes the mushrooms grow wider, while another makes them higher.
Both temperature and humidity must be controlled during mushroom growth, depending on the different stages of growth. The value for CO₂, temperature, and RH are individual for different types of mushrooms.
How does it work?
CO₂ is a normal product of fungi metabolism. It is also one of the most important factors in determining high quality and yield of edible fungi (e.g. button mushrooms). During the growth phase of the mushroom spawn, a high concentration (10,000 - 20,000 ppm) of carbon dioxide is required.
When mushroom growth becomes visible, CO₂ concentrations of 800 to 1,500 ppm are optimum for growth and development. However, there are some differences among the fungi types and the different stages of growth. These differences should be indicated by the producer of the mycelium.
Generally, fungi become too small and numerous at CO₂ concentrations of less than 800 ppm. Above 2,000 ppm, the quality of the mushroom is poor (the stem is too long and the cap is too small). At CO₂ concentrations of 4,000 - 5,000 ppm, mushroom development is inhibited. New mycelium begins to grow if the CO₂ concentration is higher than 5,000 ppm.
Mushrooms that do not meet quality requirements are discarded. When the CO₂-concentration in the air is not controlled, the quality yield becomes poorer. For that reason, it is more cost-effective to have control of the growth. Better control of the growing process of the mushrooms requires fewer resources to maintain that process.
- Optimal mushrooms
- Control in growth process
- Reduced costs