Commercial productivity of the Agaricus blazei mushroom is closely related to both the quality of the compost and the choice of soil to be used as a casing material. This study aims to evaluate Agaricus blazei's productivity using two compost formulations and three soils. The two compost formulations were (i) crushed sugarcane bagasse (Saccharum officinarum (L.)) and Coastcross hay (Cynidon dactylon (L.) Pers.), and (ii) crushed sugarcane bagasse (Saccharum officinarum (L.)) and corn husk (Zea mays L.); they were amended with wheat bran, lime, gypsum, superphosphate and urea. The casing materials were extracted from three soils classed as Rhodic Hapludox, Xanthic Hapludox, and Humic Haplaquox. The Rhodic Hapludox soil material was mixed with fragments of Eucalyptus charcoal in the proportion of 4:1. The compost was prepared during six weeks and thereafter heat treated during 48 h at the end of the composting period. The sugarcane bagasse:coast-hay compost was superior to the sugarcane bagasse: corn husk compost. The Rhodic Hapludox plus charcoal casing material showed to be a better casing material than either the Xanthic Hapludox and Humic Haplaquox soil materials. The choice of the soils where the casing material is taken is an important factor to the success of the Agaricus blazei mushroom cultivation.
mushroom cultivation; productivity; compost; fruiting indu ction