PADDY STRAW Mushroom (Volvariella Volvacea) is the third most important mushroom cultivated in the world. Presently, paddy straw mushroom cultivation is slowly gaining the attention among mushroom growers because of its taste and fast growing nature compared to other cultivated mushrooms. Under favorable environment and growth medium, the pin head of paddy straw mushroom forms within 4 to 5 days after spawning and comes to harvest within another 4 or 5 days. As one crop cycle completes within 35-40 days, a number of crops (usually four to five) can be raised.
The spawn is the seed material in propagation for mushroom production. Sorghum grain or chopped paddy straw supplemented with horse gram or red gram powder can be used for spawn preparation. Dried paddy straw is made into rope like twists of 2.5m length with 5 to 8 cm diameter. The twisted bundles are immersed in clean cold water for a day. They are then shade dried. The paddy straw twists are wound clockwise in a circular fashion. Coarsely powdered horse gram/red gram is then sprinkled over the small bits of paddy straw spawn. The procedure is repeated for the second and third layers which are kept one above the other. The completed bed is then pressed tightly and kept in a poly house.
The moisture in the substrate is maintained by sprinkling water at relative temperature of 30-35 degrees celsius to promote fruiting. The average mushroom yield is around 250 to 300g/kg of paddy straw used. G. Sangeetha and V. Prakasam
(Annamalai University Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore)