Mushroom shipments are expected to be down this fall due to problems with compost and limited labor availability from some areas.
Phillips Mushroom Farms of Kennett Square, PA had adequate supplies last summer but now has less production because it is using new composting materials that are fresh off the fields. The problems resulted from excessive rains or the past two years. This caused deterioration with hay and straw to the point it could not be used. This has resulted in increasing prices for compost.
Ideally, hay and straw weather in the field for up to a month before going into the compost pile. Due to tight supplies, hay and straw are going directly from the field to the compost pile, which can delay optimum production for up to 6 weeks.
Even with optimum production in the weeks ahead the Phillips Musrooms is uncertain it will be able to have enough production for the holidays. There also have been issues with compost, mold, weather and yield issues in British Columbia as well.
Ponderosal Musrooms & Specialty Foods of Port Coquitlam reports continuin issues with its white and brown ,mushrooms., plus problems with adequate labor supplies.
Ostrom Mushroom Farms of Olympia, WA has taken two grow rooms out of production because of a lack of labor, The company also cites the rising cost of labor in Washington since 2017. In 2020 labor costs will increase an additional $1.50 per hour,reaching $13.50.
Ostorm also reports heavy demand for mushrooms during the spring and summer, when consumers usually cut back somewhat in favor of local berries or stone fruit, also has put pressure on supplies.
Monterey Mushrooms Inc. of Watsonville, CA is more optimistic stating it has 10 farms throughout the U.S. and expects to supply is costomers.
Likewise, To-Jo Mushrooms of Avondale, PA. expects to ship adequate supplies to customers into next year.