Therefore, owners who have been involved in this business for many years must remember the importance of modernizing equipment and investing in high-quality appliances. A well-managed and equipped mushroom farm can be a successful business, operating at a very good level of profitability.
Farming high-quality mushrooms requires knowledge, commitment and modern equipment that will improve all stages of work in the production hall. See why modernizing the equipment of a mushroom farm is a good idea and how it can translate into development of such business.
4 exemplary elements of mushroom farm equipment, which are a great starting point for modernization.
Lamps for mushroom farms
If you have owned a mushroom farm for at least 5 years, lamps are one of the first things you should upgrade. As you know, the conditions in mushroom farms are difficult. High humidity, which can reach up to 90%, and a high level of acidity of the environment negatively affect most elements of the mushroom farm equipment - especially if they were bought a few or even several years ago, and they are not elements that meet the highest standards today.
An investment in professional room lighting is more profitable than the constant replacement of cheap lamps that are not adapted to the conditions in a mushroom farm.
Modern lamps for mushroom farms are characterized by a long service life. Lamps of inferior quality often "burn out", are more prone to damage and need to be replaced at least once every several months. This is a considerable cost for the owner of a mushroom farm, which can be easily avoided by purchasing appropriate lighting. When choosing more expensive, but better-quality lamps, you can count on a 2-year manufacturer's warranty. They have a degree of protection IP68 and therefore allow for evaporation of the halls, i.e. disinfection by introducing steam into the chambers. This reduces the risk of various types of mushroom diseases.
Lamps that are not adapted to the conditions in mushroom-growing farms will wear out much faster, and the cost of their constant replacement (although they are cheaper at the same time) will significantly exceed the cost of investing in modern lighting adapted to a mushroom-growing farm. Moreover, good lamps will improve the quality of work in the hall, because they will provide the right amount of light to the shelves of the racks during mushroom picking. Good lighting is therefore needed above all in order to collect more efficiently.
Mushroom growing shelving
If you have been the owner of a mushroom farm for almost 10 years and have been using galvanized shelves all this time, it’s probably a good time to replace them. Replacing the shelving will ensure safety while working in the hall. After about 10-15 years of use of galvanized steel shelving, corrosion centers may already be visible, which should be allowed in a safe mushroom farm. It is worth replacing them with aluminum shelving, which has a much longer service life. Aluminum shelving for mushroom farming are manufactured to a high standard and meet the highest quality criteria.
As we have already mentioned, the difficult conditions in the growing chambers require the use of the highest quality mushroom farm equipment. Aluminum shelving is corrosion resistant and it’s easy to maintain a high level of hygiene on it. The shelving system is easy to assemble. The technology in which it was made significantly improves the comfort of work of people handling mushroom picking because its anodized surface reflects light, which significantly improves the picking efficiency. An investment in modern shelving will pay for itself quickly, and their replacement will not be necessary for generations.
Mushroom picking lorries
If you want to achieve the highest farming efficiency and increase the profitability of a mushroom farm, then you should invest in modern mushroom picking lorries. The use of lorries allows to largely automate the mushroom picking process, which translates into improvement and acceleration of the pickers' work. Many people underestimate the investment in modern lorries and base their picking work on old equipment. This is a mistake, because a very large share of the costs of a mushroom farm are the personnel working handling the picking. Therefore, professional mushroom picking lorries, which should be the basic equipment of a mushroom farm, are a great help for employees.
Advantages of modern mushroom picking lorries
Modern mushroom picking lorries are characterized by ergonomics, safety, durability and efficiency. The lorries have properly designed shelves (adapted to the size of packaging used on a given market or mushroom farm) and height adjustment, so that the person picking mushrooms does not have to make unnecessary or too long movements during picking. The lorry is designed in such a way that no structural elements interfere with picking. The picker will have no problem reaching for even the furthermost mushrooms from the shelves.
It is also important to mention safety, which is of utmost importance during mushroom picking. Both the picker and his close environment are not in danger, and their durability is calculated for many years of failure-free operation because of the unique solutions that have been used in the lorries. Work ergonomics and safety on our lorries is guaranteed thanks to, among other things, our experience gained not only in the country, but all over the world, during close cooperation with customers and with world-renowned farming specialists. Modern lorries are made in accordance with the European CE declaration.
Why choose an electric mushroom picking lorry?
Due to the fact that electric lifting is used in the lorries, the work efficiency is increased. Without the use of muscle strength, you can freely lift the platform up and down. Therefore, it is possible to carry out, without unnecessary effort of the worker, for example, selective picking, which significantly increases the amount of kg of mushrooms picked per unit of time and increases the yields per m2 of farming. However, when using a Pascal lorry, which is also equipped with a drive that moves the lorry forward and backward, the picker has to focus only on picking a specific size of mushrooms, without wasting energy and time on pushing the lorry between the bays of the rack, thanks to which picking the same amount of kg is done in even less time. Undoubtedly, this increases the picking efficiency and, most importantly for the owner of a mushroom farm, increases the profitability of the business.
Growing nets are an area that investors often forget about when growing mushrooms. Their purpose is to introduce compost and a cover for the shelves of the growing rack every production cycle, which takes about 6 weeks. The nets pull the substrate in before the start of each production cycle and remove the used compost, therefore they must be durable to maximally speed up and facilitate the work of loading and unloading the substrate.
Why is not a good idea to buy cheap nets?
Poor quality nets can become narrow, which causes additional losses, as the compost falls to the floor when loaded, rather than remain on the growing net. Additionally, inferior quality nets may break. When loading the chamber, time is very important because it also, to some extent, affects the quality of the crop or, for example, energy losses after a loading that takes too long (cooling / reheating). Thanks to the good quality of the nets (no excessive stretching / narrowing), it will also be much easier to achieve the uniformity of the substrate application to the shelves, which is crucial for obtaining the appropriate quality of the crop.
Invest in high-quality nets and enjoy them for many years to come
A much better solution is to invest in durable nets that, if properly used, can be utilized for many years, and we know from experience that the durability of the best nets reaches 10-15 years. An investment in a more expensive, but better-quality net, as a consequence allows you to save money in a mushroom farm. When buying poor quality nets, they have to be replaced often, which generates huge costs (many times higher than buying a net only seemingly more expensive). A well-thought-out purchase during modernization or a new investment is of great importance and has an impact on financial efficiency, because it allows you to enjoy a relatively fast return on investment in the future and a modern mushroom farm that does not bring losses, which sometimes go seemingly unnoticed. The modern equipment of a mushroom farm will improve work in production halls and additionally ensure a high level of safety for its employees.
The article was written in cooperation with Michał Kustusch, the manufacturer of mushroom farm equipment from the GROWTIME company.