Shiitake mushrooms are the third most popular mushroom species in the U.S. In addition to taste, shiitake have a multitude of health benefits. Low in calories, glucose and sodium, shiitake are high in potassium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc.
Beyond those positive nutritional factors, shiitake also contain elements that lower blood cholesterol and improve the immune system. It's no wonder that demand is increasing for these nutritional powerhouses.
Native to Asian forests, shiitake are cultivated in two ways in the United States. The first takes place in forests, often applying an agroforestry technique known as forest farming, in which the forest canopy is altered to provide the appropriate amount of shade to grow crops below. The mushrooms grow on hardwood logs. This method results in a higher-quality product with minimal capital investment. The disadvantages of this method are weather dependence, seasonal production with lower yields, longer production cycles, and a heavier workload.
Shiitake can also be cultivated indoors, grown on logs or blocks of sawdust in environmentally controlled buildings. The distinct advantage of this process is the ability to produce shitake year-round with shorter production cycles and higher yields. The downside to indoor cultivation is increased cost and a lower-quality product.
Michael A. Gold, Mihaela M. Cernusca, and Larry D. Godsey from the University of Missouri surveyed 104 shiitake producers throughout the U.S. to learn about production and marketing in the field, and published the results of their study in the American Society for Horticultural Science journal HortTechnology.
According to the report based on 36 survey reponses, 40% of shiitake growers had been in business less than 5 years, and only 17% had been growing for 20 or more years. The growers cited low start-up costs and the existence of potential markets as reasons for choosing this business.They chose shiitake because of their nutritional benefits as well as being an environmentally friendly crop. Eighty-eight percent of the growers who responded produced organically, while 40% were certified organic by the USDA.
However, respondents considered growing shiitake mushrooms to be labor-intensive, especially since it takes a full year to reach the point of harvest. Some of the producers felt that the income was not high enough compared to the time invested. A general lack of production and marketing information and the lack of dependable labor were cited as reasons some would not choose to grow shiitake again.
The study found that 75% of the survey respondents sold shiitake to restaurants, 69% sold to farmers markets, and 61% sold through on-farm outlets. Wholesale prices reported by respondents were between $5 and $7 per pound.
Nearly 40% of respondents noted an increase in demand over the past 5 years, and more than 40% expected an additional increase in demand for log-grown shiitake in the next 5 years. "Importantly, no respondent believed that demand will decrease over the next 5 years", the study authors concluded.
Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
17.05.2018 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Mixed forests: ecologically and economically superior
09.05.2018 | Technische Universität München
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology