Mushroom IPM Manual Now in Spanish
Posted: June 5, 2012
Pennsylvania Mushroom Integrated Pest Management Handbook promotes integrated pest management, or IPM, to address common pest problems mushroom growers face. The handbook is a joint effort of Penn State, The American Mushroom Institute and the Pennsylvania IPM Program. IPM aims to manage pests -- such as insects, diseases, weeds and animals -- by combining physical, biological and chemical tactics that are safe, profitable and environmentally compatible.
Pennsylvania is the number one producer of mushrooms in the United States with more than 250 farms producing the common button mushroom. Pennsylvania is also a national leader for mushroom IPM, influencing growers with over 80 years of IPM research and extension activities.
According to Ed Rajotte, PA IPM coordinator, there has long been a need for a mushroom management publication for Spanish-speaking audiences. “Just like the English version, the handbook is intended to be used by growers as well as researchers, both as an educational tool and as a reference manual.”
Recommendations are used as a guide for developing an effective IPM program. The publication is divided into two parts: the first covering the theory of IPM, and the second dealing with IPM in mushroom growing. The theory section explains the concepts of pest management, types of control and the importance of understanding pest life cycles and biology, while the other half of the manual describes how unique features of the crop can be used effectively in IPM.
“Mushroom growing lends itself naturally to IPM,” says Phil Coles, Giorgi Mushroom Company and one of the authors of the publication. "Mushrooms are one of the few food crops grown in climate controlled buildings. This allows for control of the internal environment of the growing room to combat many pests, and since the crop is grown inside a structure, many pests can be excluded.”
Other features of mushroom production make IPM a necessity, not an option, says Coles. “Mushroom production is measured in pounds per square foot rather than in bushels or tons per acre, so mushroom growing is very dense farming. If a pest enters a room, it can spread rapidly because of the large amount of food available within a relatively small space,” he explains. “Also, many pests cannot be controlled using chemical pesticides, either because there are no products labeled for mushroom use, or materials do not exist for specific type of pest organism that will not destroy the crop as well. These features make the IPM approach the most effective and economical means of long term, sustainable pest control.”
The publication illustrates specific control techniques, such as exclusion and cultural and biological controls. It also describes the most destructive pests, including anthropoid pests, fungal pathogens, weed and indicator molds, bacterial diseases, nematodes and viruses. It includes many full color images as well as various charts, graphs, and diagrams. Contributors to the publication include experts from Penn State, the University of Delaware, the Horticultural Research Institute of Ontario, and the private industry.
The English and Spanish versions of the publication are available as downloadable PDFs from the Pennsylvania IPM Program website at http://extension.psu.edu/ipm/agriculture/mushrooms, or the American Mushroom Institute at http://www.americanmushroom.org/integrated-pest-management-p-5.html. Hard copies of the English version (catalog number AGRS-083) can be ordered for $15 by downloading and filling out the order form at http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/orders_CAS.asp.