PennState University of USA is the center of mushroom science of America. Here mushrooms are grown, compost is being produced in experimental conditions – the place is called Mushroom Research Center. David Beyer and John Pecchia are the main researchers here.
In 1930s was the beginning of mushroom studding in PennState. In 1970 already ten or dozen full-time faculty members studied mushrooms in PennState. Now it is a well-organized and very much connected with the industry organization.
We have asked David Beyer to tell us something about how the Center is functioning.
-What the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology and Mushroom Research Center study now?
-Our department study mushroom diseases, for example bacterial blotch, we look on alternative materials for peat moss. Some students are working on morel growing. Grants are now actively given for organic production and plant diseases control. One researcher is working on mobile app that will help the grower easily maintain crop, temperature, and other parameters – to give him ability to collect all information for example to his mobile phone.
-What is the practical meaning of your scientific work for the industry?
-Every year we make free workshops for growers on a various topic. We organize demonstrations of Phase 1, Phase 2 in our Mushroom Research Center. We write scientific papers, articles for the magazine Mushroom News. Also, we teach growers, visit their farms to use our knowledge to help solve with their problems.
-Can the grower reach you and ask you for help?
-That is a usual practice when growers send me e-mail to tell that they have a problem with something – and I visit them for free and help. Just as the part of my job, paid by university. It is called extension – providing the opportunity to growers be taught. That can be a compost disease, fresh quality yield different issues – I come and try to solve the problem. It works like this: I give them the results of our newest investigations connected to their topic and give some advises.
-Do growers pay for this?
-My salary comes from the state`s funding through State University. And the money there appear from the taxes growers pay. Growers do not pay me directly – but they in response support my programs, Mushroom Short Course as Sponsors. You know – for so many years I did so many favors for them and we are so much related that it is not about direct paying to each other.
According to John Pecchia, Mushroom Research Center is very useful for growers in terms of new developments.
-Spawn grain and the supplements – things without which grower cannot imagine the industry – were developed there, in PennState`s Mushroom Research Center. Then supplement went from PennState to Amycel – and then spread round the world.
The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology employs very talented people who are working here on their topics. UMDIS Mushroom Information Agency had a perfect chance to get acquainted with them.
For example, Ed Kaiser, from PennState`s Spawn Lab Buckhout Lab investigates strains of mushrooms and makes the collection of them.
-I have got near 300 Agaricus and near 700 other strains, – tells us Ed.
He stores them in liquid nitrogen under the temperature -140 degrees C.
Mike Wolfin, the practical scientist who investigates most effective variants on fly control. He fights with Sciarida and Phorida flies.
-The best fly – is the dead fly, – laughs Mike.
UMDIS Mushroom Information Agency provides consultations on mushroom business, technology, selling of mushrooms in Europe, organizes study tours. Contact us for more information: [email protected], +380935690941 (WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram).