Sustainable Agriculture Student Research Project

Fresh spent mushroom compost mulch effect on bean, broccoli, salsola, and squash growth, weed suppression, and broccoli yield

James Oswald, Department of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, 2020


Mushroom production is increasing globally, generating up to 5.5 x 107 Mg of Spent Mushroom Compost (SMC) annually. Canada is the world’s eighth-largest mushroom producer, with 1.2% of global mushroom production, and BC alone accounted for ~1.4 x 105 Mg of SMC in 2017. Salinity of fresh spent mushroom compost (FSMC) has generated concern regarding its viability for application to agricultural land. We applied 0, 5, 10, or 20 cm mulch layers of FSMC and found no significant effect on growth of broccoli, bean, salsola, and squash. FSMC mulch reduced abundance and diversity of weeds. No significant effect on broccoli yield was observed.


Funding and Support: