Posts Tagged “mushroom shipments”

South Mill Champs has Grand Opening of its New Mushroom Facility

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KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. – South Mill Champs, one of North America’s largest growers and suppliers of fresh mushrooms and mushroom products announced the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art farm in Oxford, Pa.

The new facility will be one of North America’s largest single-site mushroom farms and one of the largest phase 3 composting operations. The grand opening marks the completion of the first phase of the multi-year, multi-phase farm and compost operation buildout.

“We’ve been innovating since the beginning,” said Mike Pia Jr., VP of Business Growth at South Mill Champs. “Our family has been producing compost and growing mushrooms for over 90 years in Pennsylvania. Our approach is, and has always been, to stay nimble and adapt to new technologies as they become available and proven. There is a growing demand for fresh quality produce, and we want to meet that demand with the best product possible for our partners and, ultimately, the consumer. This new facility will allow us to do just that.”

Green initiatives, including solar panels and water reducing processes and technologies, are being implemented at this facility in line with the company’s commitment to sustainability and water stewardship. Once fully implemented, on an annual basis, the facility will generate the majority of its electricity from a renewable source, capture and reuse millions of gallons of rain and wastewater, and upcycle thousands of tons of agricultural byproducts and other waste materials in the making of compost.

South Mill Champs is a leading vertically integrated compost producer, grower, and supplier of North American-grown fresh mushrooms and functional mushroom foods. Headquartered in Kennett Square, PA, South Mill Champs is a leading innovative and customer-focused supplier. It offers mushrooms and other products with full-service logistics and storage and has a reputation for superior quality and consistent supply.

South Mill Mushrooms of Pennsylvania, Champs Mushrooms of British Columbia and Loveday Mushroom Farms based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, merged between 2017 and 2020 to form South Mill Champs. Together, South Mill Champs supplies fresh mushrooms and other produce to customers in all segments of the mushroom marketplace throughout the United States and Canada.

In November 2020, South Mill Champs expanded its distribution capabilities with the opening of a new distribution center in Winter Haven, Florida. In December 2020, the company acquired The Mushroom Company, a full line mushroom processor located in Maryland. During 2021 and 2022, South Mill Champs established distribution capabilities in Sacramento and Indianapolis and expanded its fresh mushroom production capacity in British Columbia, Manitoba and Pennsylvania.

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Mushroom Industry Group Sees Significantly Fewer Holiday Mushroom Shipments

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 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.”


About AMI

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. 



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Mushroom Shipments Rebounding after Pandemic-Related Shortages

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Mushroom shipments in the U.S. and Canadian are slowly starting to increase after growers curtailed planting in response to a huge drop in sales when COVID-19 hit in March.

South Mill Champs of Kennett Square, PA notes there have been extensive shortages of mushrooms because of the disruption of the foodservice market as a result of COVID-19. Shipments still remain significantly lower than a year ago, but meeting demand during what is typically the slowest time of the year for mushroom sales.

To-Jo Mushrooms of Avondale, PA., reports it had minimal supply interruptions, although there were challenges with fluctuations in demand. Since mid July more consistent shipments have been occurring.

Highline Mushrooms of Leamington, Ontario, reports it has maintained very strong and consistent demand from retail for mushrooms recently, making it difficult to maintain adequate supply for the demand.

Phillips Mushroom Farms of Kennett Square, PA notes when COVID-19 hit, it did not reduce growing or harvesting projections very much beyond normal seasonal changes, and demand has remained strong throughout COVID.

Ostrom Mushroom Farms of Olympia, WA., has reported frustrations because the company was in the process of moving production about 220 miles away to Sunnyside, WA., where an all-new workforce had to be trained under trying circumstances.

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Mushroom Shipments Set a Record

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By American Mushroom Institute

Avondale, PA — Mushroom growers are entering 2020 with record shipments volumes, increasing retail prices and solid demand for fresh mushrooms, according to the American Mushroom Institute.

The September shipment report from the Mushroom Council™ shows domestic mushroom production set a new all-time high. This was the fourth consecutive new monthly high and reflects steady sales growth throughout the summer months. Both June and August volume exceeded 80 million pounds for the first time ever, indicating that mushroom sales are strong year-round. Combined shipments (domestic plus imports) also hit new record highs.

Mark Lang, MBA, Ph.D., University of Tampa, analyzed the recent data trends for the Council. “As mushrooms become a staple item for many Americans and more people start consuming them, demand has risen steadily for the past decade,” said Lang.

About American Mushroom Institute

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 US and industry suppliers worldwide. Members of AMI produce 90 percent of all cultivated mushrooms nationwide, which include Agaricus, Crimini, Portabella and specialty mushrooms. For more information, visit

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Lower Mushroom Shipments are Seen Heading into Fall

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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.

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U.S. Mushroom Shipments are Lowest in Nearly a Decade

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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

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Outlook for Mushroom Shipments; Salinas Valley Lettuce Loads are Improving

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DSCN0852U.S. mushroom shipments should be good for the rest of the summer and into the fall season — and perhaps beyond.

The reason is mushroom crop yields this year remain healthy and strong, but similar to many agriculture crops, there are seasonal ebbs and flows in production.

Giorgio Fresh Co. of Temple, PA has observed this year summer mushroom shipments are at a peak, with volume expected to be story through early fall.  However supplies are expected to tighten during the November-December holiday period, which is normal.

Mushrooms a  whole continue to grow in popularity, especially with organics, specialty varieties and brown mushrooms — including crimini/baby bella and portabella.

Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farm Inc. of Gonzales, TX is expecting strong shipments through the summer, with a tighter market going into the fall and winter months.

Although mushrooms are grown indoors, extreme weather and a lack of a steady labor pool can be serious detriments to production because production levels depend greatly on the quality of the growing medium, commonly called compost, which is produced outdoors.

At Monterey Mushrooms Inc. of Watsonville, CA, the mushroom crop outlook is excellent,  in part because the company has 10 farms strategically located around the U.S. and Mexico.  Monterey makes its own compost, which helps the company grow “end to end.”

Ostrom Mushroom Farms of Olympia, WA has noted production and quality problems in the Pacific Northwest during the spring because of compost and mechanical difficulties, but this has improved.

Salinas Lettuce

Salinas Valley head (iceberg) lettuce shipments have been erratic this season due erratic growing conditions.

Additionally, romaine shipments have improved from earlier this year when there was an outbreak of E. coli.  More than 200 people were sickened and five people died.

Coastline Family Farms of Salinas has noted hot stretches followed by cold stretches of weather which replaced what is typically is a consistent, mild climate.  It adversely affected the quality of head lettuce and weight with the product being lighter than normal.  For example, a bin of lettuce in early August weight about 1,000 pounds to only about 700 pounds in mid August, a problem that still exists in late August.  The shortage of head lettuce has helped improve demand for romaine lettuce since the E. coli problem has faded.

Salinas is shipping nearly 1,150 truck loads of head lettuce weekly, while around 850 truck loads of romaine are being shipped a week.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $8500 to New York City.


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Mushroom Shipments Should Improve, But Florida Citrus has More Bad News

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AA11Mushroom shipments look good for the first quarter of 2018, which will be an improvement, at least for some areas of the country….Meanwhile, the forecast for Florida citrus shipments takes another hit.

Shipments of mushrooms from Texas and Florida should be better this year as the region has recovered from hurricane damage last fall.  While mushrooms are grown indoors, production still depends on the quality of compost, which is grown outside.

As long as growers don’t have to deal with frozen compost, a relatively mild fall has led to improved conditions.   At the same time companies such as Oakshire Mushroom Farm of Kennett Square, PA, which markets mushrooms under the Dole label, see adequate labor as a continuing problem, like other operations, because mushrooms are a very labor-intense crop.

Monterey Mushrooms Inc. of Watsonville, CA also anticipates an good crop for early 2018.  The company has 10 farms strategically located around the United States and Mexico and it  makes its own compost.

White mushrooms still constitute most mushroom shipments, but brown mushrooms continue to gain.  Ten years or more ago, white mushrooms represented over 90 percent of shipments.  That has now shrunk to about  70 percent, because baby portabellas are still increasing in popularity.  Portabellas have been fairly stable, accounting for around  6 to 7 percent of total volume.  Specialty mushrooms, particularly shiitake and oyster, also are gaining in volume. 

Florida Citrus Shipments

45 million boxes of oranges from Florida are predicted to be shipped, down 2 percent from the USDA January forecast.

The 2017-18 crop will be the smallest in over 75 years, assuming the estimate is accurate.   Hurricane Irma devastated much of the production in the state when the storm hit last September, compounding the low production numbers caused by citrus greening disease.

The current crop projection is off 35 percent from the 2016-17 season.

The forecast for valencias is now 26 million boxes, down 4 percent from the January estimate.The projections for non-valencia oranges and grapefruit are unchanged at 19 million boxes and 4.65 million boxes, respectively.

Before the hurricane, private estimates suggested Florida was set to produce 75 million boxes of oranges this season.

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Mushroom Shipments are Hit by Heat

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dscn28891Mushroom shipments have been hit by high temperatures and dry conditions, resulting in lower volume and shortages across the country.

The greatest impact has been felt in southeastern Pennsylvania, where 64 percent of U.S. mushrooms are grown, according to a news release from the Avondale, PA.-based American Mushroom Institute.

The weather’s impact on the compost used to grow mushrooms has many across the industry worried. Some veteran mushroom growers who have been in the business over three decades have never been this concerned heading towrds the holiday season.  

Many farms are reporting reduced yields, and some shippers have struggled to fill orders. Shortages are expected nationwide as demand for mushrooms increases with the holiday season.

Concerns are mounting that all the orders for the product can’t be met and that shipments to retailers and other customers may have to be rationed. 

With demand outpacing supply, growers are doing their best to get customers the product they need, but it is expected that fulfilling orders is going to be difficult.

“You’ve just got to share the love evenly with everyone because there’s just nowhere to get extra product,” stated one grower. “It’s just not available … Any other time you could work sideways and barter and trade back and forth, but that won’t be able to happen much this season because everyone’s in the same situation.”

Quality of the mushrooms also has been affected along with quantity.

“There hasn’t been a whole lot quite up to par from what I’m seeing,  When the compost is weak you can then get blotch … which causes spotting on the mushrooms that sometimes you can’t see when you harvest the mushroom but it shows up later, by the time it gets shipped to the customer, the grower stated.”

At various times 30 Pennsylvania counties have been in a drought watch, which has affected mushroom growers.

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Shipping Updates for Mushrooms, Grapes, PA Apples

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Mushroom loadings increased in the United States during the past year.  Additionally, looking at other types of shipments, here are updates on California grapes and Pennsylvania apples.

mushroomsMushroom shipments increased during the 2015-16 season, with about 946 million pounds of mushrooms were moved in 2015-16.  This was a 2 perecent increase for the pervious season, according to the USDA.

The value of this season’s crop, at $1.19 billion, was down less than 1 perecent from 2014-15, while the average price for mushrooms in 2015-16, $1.26 per pound, which was two cents lower than the season before.

About 346 producers grew mushrooms in the U.S. in 2015-16, 12 fewer than the year before.

Agaricus mushroom volumes in 2015-16 totaled 922 million pounds, 2 percent more than the season before.   As has historically been the case, Pennsylvania accounted for 64 percent of total shipments with California a distant second at 12 percent.

The agaricus crop was valued at $1.1 billion, down 2 percent from 2014-15.  About 165 million pounds of portabello, crimini and other brown mushrooms were shipped this season, 3 percent more than last season.

The specialty mushroom category, which includes shiitakes, oysters and other varieties, registered the biggest value gain by percentage in 2015-16.  Specialty sales rose 30 percent this season to $95 million. The average price, $3.94 per pound was up 40 percent.

California Grape Shipments

California grape shipments  are comparable to last year at the same time.  Through August 27th, about 1.78 billion pounds of grapes had been shipped in the U.S. for the season, down from 1.88 billion pounds last year at the same time.

In the week ending August 27, about 74 million pounds shipped, down from 82.5 million pounds in the same week last year.

San Joaquin Valley grapes, stone fruit and tomatoes – grossing about $5000 to Atlanta.

Pennsylvania Apple Shipments

Pennsylvania apple shipments should be normal, putting it at around its five-year average.  This is approximately 10 million bushels.  Harvest started the third week of August in most areas of the state and should be finished by early November.  Pennsylvania has about 275 growers.

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