Casing is an important step during cultivation of button mushroom. It promotes a shift of vegetative mycelium to form pinheads leading to mature basidiocarps. Therefore, An experiment was planned at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana in which farm yard manure (FYM), biogas slurry (BS), burnt rice husk (BRH), spent compost (SC), coir pith (CP) and sandy soil (SS) were used in six combinations to evaluate their impact on yield of Agaricusbisporus strain U3. Casing mixtures were analyzed for the moisture, water holding capacity (WHC), bulk density, pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and mineral analysis. The moisture content of casing mixtures ranged between 33 to 56.3% with maximum in FYM+CP (1:1) and FYM+BS (1:1) which results in more water holding capacity with 160% and 100% for FYM+CP (1:1) and FYM+BS (1:1) respectively. The bulk density of different casing mixtures ranged between 33.3 to 83.3% and maximum for FYM+BS as well as the control FYM+SS (4:1). No significant variation in pH of casing mixture was observed while EC was significantly higher in FYM+BS (1:1) with 1.7 mmhos cm-1. Microbial count of different casing mixtures was between 3.0-5.7×105 which was statistically non-significant with respect to casing mixtures. A mixture of FYM+BRH (1:1) gave maximum yield of 15.1 kg with heavy fruit bodies. Number of fruiting bodies in casing mixture FYM+BRH (1:1) were 31.4, 26.4, 148.1,31.4 and 8.1 percent higher over FYM+CP (1:1), FYM+SC (1:1), FYM+BS (1:1), FYM and FYM+SS (4:1,control), respectively. The casing mixture FYM+BRH (1:1) with higher number of fruiting bodies with maximum fruiting bodies weight was the best alternate in mushroom growing industry.
Casing, Yield, Farm Yard Manure (FYM), Coir Pith (CP), Biogas Slurry (BS), Spent Compost (SC), Burnt Rice Husk (BRH), Sandy Soil (SS)
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