Economic and Yield Potential of Hemp Waste Material in Specialty Mushroom Substrate

Project Overview

FW22-400
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2022: $24,282.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2023
Grant Recipient: Intentional Growth
Region: Western
State: Utah
Principal Investigator:

Commodities

  • Agronomic: hemp
  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms

Practices

  • Crop Production: food product quality/safety, nutrient cycling
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns

    Proposal summary:

    The main goals of this project are to study the potential of economic, nutritional and environmental benefits of using industrial hemp stalks as the nutrient source in standard mushroom media formulation.

    Hemp stalks are a ubiquitous waste product following the reintroduction of industrial hemp as a valid agricultural commodity in the 2018 US Farm Bill. Specialty (edible) mushrooms are a separate commodity growing in popularity and economic value.

    The project objectives are:

    • Compare the cost analysis to yield potential of oyster mushrooms grown on hemp stalks to that of the commonly used straw material as the nutrient source in standard mushroom substrate formulation.

    • Compare differences in the nutrient value of mushrooms grown with hemp stalks vs straw.

    • Assess contamination rates of competing fungi (mold) in mushrooms grown on hemp stalks to that of straw.

    We suspect that hemp stalks will provide an economic alternative that increases oyster mushroom yields and nutrition at a lower production cost. Additionally, hemp farmers will benefit from an increase income potential from a currently labeled waste product.

    Research results will be be broadly disseminated via websites, workshops, community events, social media, and academic publications.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The project's research objectives are:

    • Compare the cost analysis to yield potential of oyster mushrooms grown on hemp stalks to that of the commonly used straw material as the nitrogen source in standard mushroom substrate formulation.
    • Compare differences in the nutrient value of mushrooms grown with hemp stalks vs straw.
    • Assess contamination rates of competing fungi (mold) in mushrooms grown on hemp stalks to that of straw.

    The Educational Objectives of this project are:

    • Provide training and education at six on-farm tours (spring and fall 2023) for a minimum of 24 participants
    • Provide research results at one community presentation and two extension events (i.e. Q&A sessions), engaging over 40 participants
    • Engage 2,000 new followers on two social media platforms by Dec 2023
    • Present results from this study at two national/regional conferences, engaging with 80 participants
    • Produce a technical paper and short video report with results of this study by October 2023
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.