Profitability of Chipped Alder as Substrate for Shiitake Production

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Bernard S. Tad-awan


Substrate mixture having the greatest amount (63%) of chipped Alder (Alnus japonica) with mesh sieve size between #8 (2.38 mm) and #6 (3.33 mm) combined with small amount (21%) of commercial sawdust having mainly mesh sieve size ≤1.41 mm, produced shiitake fruiting bags with the shortest incubation period of 50.8 days, and highest biological efficiency of about 50%. The same mixture had the highest additional benefits (PhP8,452.50 per 300 fruiting bags) and return above variable cost (16.57). This trend is followed by mixing equal part of chipped alder and sawdust.

Conversely, the use of commercial sawdust alone resulted in the longest incubation period as well as lowest yield of 137 g and biological efficiency of 31.12% ; consequently having the lowest additional benefits and return on variable cost of PhP2,577 per 300 fruiting bags and 10.74, respectively.

The technology of utilizing chipped pruned twigs of alder as substrate for producing shiitake as a high valued crop would add to promoting alder as a well-adopted multi-purpose tree species in the highlands to address climate change and promote resource-based mushroom industry.

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