Mushroom shipments for 2018-19 are the lowest in nearly a decade.
The USDA reports there was a drop of 8 percent in both sales and volume, which at 846.5 million pounds is the lowest production since 2009-10.
However, the actual downturn, is likely much lower. The National Agricultural Statistics Service, which compiles the data for the annual report, surveyed growers in just eight states (California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas) instead of all states.
Fresh-market agaricus mushroom sales, however, valued at $1.02 billion, aren’t far off of the past season’s $1.07 billion value, although volume dropped from 813 million pounds to 762 million pounds.
The American Mushroom Institute of Avondale, PA reports
Mushroom growers have faced rising costs from adverse weather, labor issues, transportation expenses and consumer preferences changing to favor varieties that cost more to produce, according to the institute.
Fleming Gibson, a NASS statistician who compiles data for the report, said the 8 states in the report represent more than 90 percent of the value of sales from the USDA’s 2017 Census of Agriculture.
As in past reports, the 2018-19 report breaks out agaricus totals for Pennsylvania and California, the largest producing states. California’s total agaricus sales, for fresh and processing, in 2018-19 were $195.5 million, just slightly lower than the $195.7 million the previous year. The state produced 93.2 million pounds of agaricus mushrooms in 2018-19, down from 93.3 million pounds in 2017-18.
Pennsylvania’s 2018-19 agaricus crop was 556.6 million pounds, down from 572.2 million pounds in 2017-18, and the most recent crop was valued at $557.1 million, down from $572.2 million, according to the report.
According to the report, agaricus and specialty mushroom production was 846.5 million pounds in 2018-19, compared to 917.2 million pounds. The average price per-pound