Composition variability of spent mushroom compost in Ireland

Jordan, Siobhan N. and Mullen, George J. and Murphy, M.C. (2008) Composition variability of spent mushroom compost in Ireland. Bioresource Technology,, 99 (2). pp. 411-418. ISSN 1873-2976

[thumbnail of Composition_Variability_paper.doc] Microsoft Word - Submitted Version
Download (541kB)


Spent mushroom compost (SMC) has proven to be an attractive material for improving soil structure in tilled soils and increasing dry matter production in grassland soils, owing to its high organic matter content and availability of essential plant nutrients. Because of this, it is important to identify the variability in composition of SMC in order to evaluate its merit as a fertilizer/soil conditioner. For this reason, a study was carried out involving the analysis of SMC samples obtained from five mushroom growers using compost from each of the thirteen mushroom composting yards currently operating in both Northern Ireland (five yards) and the Republic of Ireland (eight yards). The selected parameters measured include dry matter, organic matter, total N, P and K, C/N ratio; plant-available P and K, pH, EC, total Ca, Mg, Na, Cu, Zn, Fe, Mn, Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb; and cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin constituents. Yield of mushroom data were also collected from the selected growers. There were significant differences (P<0.05) within two compost production yards for some parameters, therefore, for the most part, the uniformity of SMC within each yard is relatively consistent. However, significant differences (P<0.05) were evident when comparing SMC obtained from growers supplied with compost from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland independently, particularly among total and available phosphorus and potassium values. The results obtained show that, while SMC has fertilizer merit, its variability of composition must be taken into account when assessing this value. The variability of composition is also of particular interest in the context of recent emphasis on plant nutrient management in agriculture.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Spent mushroom compost; composition; variability
Subjects: Science
Research Centres: Centre for Freshwater and Environmental Studies
Depositing User: Concepta Woods
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 12:27
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2014 16:10

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year