Approved Products for the Mushroom Industry - 2007
Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Applied Plant Sciences & Biometrics Division N. Ireland Horticultural and Plant Breeding Station, Loughgall, Co Armagh
Introduction Generally speaking, chemical use should be the last line of defence to control pests or disease in a mushroom crop. With the emphasis on Quality Assurance Ė hygiene and good crop management should be the main control measures. PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE. Itís also cheaper and better for the environment. To Prevent Development:
Use disease free materials Ė adequately pasteurised or well spawnrun compost; clean casing.
Take proper hygiene measures during compost layout and casing.
Correctly control the environment to allow optimum mycelial growth.
Prevent compost overheating during spawn and/or case run.
Maintain good hygiene all around the farm.
Follow correct disposal procedures for spent mushroom compost and other waste materials.
To Prevent Spread
Having ensured doors & ventilation units are well sealed, use proper tunnel air filtration.
Disinfect all equipment effectively; Use footdips
Train ALL staff - both how to identify and prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
Monitor each crop for pests and diseases, daily. React immediately, to what you find.
Control insects that will help spread other diseases.
Follow a logical sequence of work - clean to dirty.
Ensure effective end of crop termination e.g. steam sterilisation.
General Control Measures At the FIRST sign of any pest or disease ACTIMMEDIATELY. Delayed action allows the pest or inoculum levels to increase and will make control all the more difficult. (i) If appropriate, cover the affected area and surrounding casing with damp tissue paper followed by dry, household salt. NEVER spot treat infected areas with mist sprayers, the latter will spread disease spores within the tunnel. (ii) Inspect crops daily BEFORE picking, mark diseased areas. These should be treated and picked last. (iii) If itís a bad outbreak, alter the picking schedule to infected crop LAST, irrespective of the crop stage. (v) Get ALL crop waste OFF the unit immediately - stalks/caps, left over casing, packaging materials etc.
Pest and Disease Identification and Lifecycles Correct identification and a good understanding of how specific pests and diseases occur, spread and develop are essential to enable effective control. Presence of a pest or disease doesnít automatically justify chemical action be taken against it. It is important to consider whether the potential economic crop loss is outweighed by the cost of applying the control product. Similarly, knowledge of the chemicals and their mode of action are also crucial. For example, insecticides effective against sciarids may have no effect on a misidentified phorid population. Equally, there is little point using a chemical fog to control adult flies if a pest is at the larval stage. DARD offers regular Pest and Disease Courses - consult your Development Advisor to book a place - Accurate information will save you money in the long run.
Integrated Crop Management (ICM) Unnecessary pesticide use can involve risks to human health (both as users and consumers), other creatures (including beneficial insects), plants and the environment. It can also be uneconomic, cause crop damage, yield reduction and increase the possibility of pesticide resistance. Current constraints associated with using chemical products and consumer demand for low chemical inputs have meant the development of control programmes that, while not eliminating chemical use, will maximise its effects in combination with cultural practices. The protected, controlled environment of mushroom production provides suitable conditions for rapid increases in pest populations. However, the controlled environment also provides the potential to integrate control measures with other cultural practices to provide more effective and sustainable pest and disease control. It is possible for growers to achieve optimal pest and disease control with rational insecticide use, provided you integrate cultural practices, environmental factors and biological controls. A full understanding of the biology of the pests and the nature of the damage caused is essential for effective integrated pest management.
Chemical Control If hygiene measures fail and after considering the alternatives it is decided that the use of an appropriate chemical is necessary, only products approved for mushrooms may be applied (www.pesticides.gov.uk). Before application, all growers should have completed COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) & RISK assessments for any work liable to expose employees to hazardous solids, liquids, dusts, gases or other substances. In preparing the assessments all work should be examined, possible risks to health evaluated and appropriate action to remove/reduce the risks documented. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - gloves, face shields, spray suits etc. must be available and used as necessary.
Chemical Application Incorrect application of chemicals accounts for a large number of problems experienced in disease control. Routinely applying chemicals in the absence of disease is a particularly dangerous practice. It may eventually lead to a build up of isolates which are either insensitive to the chemicals or exhibit true resistance. Growers should always apply the recommended rate of any given chemical. Never use a chemical unless you know why you are using it.
Methods of application also need to be checked regularly as poor control is often due to inaccurate application.
Is the correct volume of water being added to the spray tank?
Is the chemical properly mixed or does some stay at the bottom of the tank?
Is the entire chemical applied to the bed surface? How much is sprayed onto the walls, floors etc?
Is chemical distribution uniform?
To answer these and other questions, courses are available to allow participants to undertake the National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC) training/tests:
PA1 Safe Use of Pesticides, Environmental factors and legislation
PA6 (d) Hand held applicators requiring minimal calibration.
Remember that careful attention must always be paid to the legal use, purchase and storage of chemicals with training now an essential prerequisite. To a greater or lesser extent, all chemicals used in mushroom growing are toxic. However, if handled responsibly with the necessary safety measures, their use need not constitute any risk.
APPROVED PRODUCTS FOR MUSHROOMS* ACTIVE INGREDIENT TRADE NAME MARKETING COMPANY
Notes: 1. Further, regularly updated information - MAPP numbers, expiry dates and approved companies i.e. only Sporgon 50WP marketed by Sylvan Spawn Ltd is approved for mushrooms, MUST be obtained from www.pesticides.gov.uk
2. Some of the less familiar products although approved for mushrooms are not generally available in the UK.
3. From this list of approved products for use on mushrooms, supermarkets and marketing companies may further specify a shortened list of products according to individual Assured Produce Schemes. All growers must comply with their own specific marketing company requirements with details available from technical advisers, seminars etc.
4. While every effort has been made to ensure information is correct at time of going to press (07.12.07), no liability is accepted for any error or omission in the content. It is essential to follow the instructions on the approved label before handling, storing or using any crop-protection product.