Avondale, PA —The current market forces of global
supply chain shortages, transportation availability constraints, and a
drastically reduced farm labor market combined with seasonal threats of crop disease are heavily negatively impacting U.S. mushroom production. This will result in significantly reduced mushroom shipments for the holidays, according to the American Mushroom Institute.
Because the mushroom growing process integrates many other industries’ products into the growing medium for mushrooms, when availability for any single ingredient is compromised, it impacts growers’ ability to mitigate crop threats and to maximize yields. The reality is the 2021 holiday season will see greatly reduced salable mushroom pounds than in previous years.
Mushroom growers can rely on upwards of 30 different inputs or raw materials to make their growing substrate for the mushroom beds.
AMI President Rachel Roberts explained:
“Mushroom growers across the country are describing challenges not seen previously in their time working in the industry. A host of raw materials needed to grow their crops are severely limited, including outright cut-offs of certain critical inputs, for the foreseeable future. In addition to the shortages, the competition for growing medium is greater than ever, with many nurseries, home gardeners, and hobbyists using much of the same growing medium, which is also driving inflation for those products. These factors are not expected to change anytime soon.”
Additionally, the mushroom industry is fighting these challenges with a workforce of about 75% of the labor force needed to do the job.
The result of all these pressures—insufficient raw materials availability, crop disease, transportation constraints, and labor shortages—is lower supply than in previous years during the holiday season.
“We continue to work with our local, state, and federal legislators to explain the predicament that our members face every day,” Roberts said. “Our members are telling us that this is the toughest time mushroom farms have faced in more than 30 years.”
The American Mushroom Institute (AMI), headquartered in Avondale, Pennsylvania, is a national voluntary trade association representing the growers, processors, and marketers of cultivated mushrooms in the United States and industry suppliers worldwide.