The compost makes up about 50% of the running costs of a champignon grower. The compost can only be used once. A large research initiative is aiming to reduce or replace compost.
Current research already demonstrates how part of the compost can be replaced by an inert sub irrigation layer which supplies water and nutrients to the mycelium from the bottom up. Measurements of the transport of water and nutrients in the standard situation will help to better understand and maximize the role of the irrigation sub layer.
The aim of this research is to support the replacement of compost by an inert sub irrigation layer by:
- Measuring the supply, uptake and discharge of water and nutrients in a compost bed.
- Create a balance for supply of water and nutrients in time.
- Use the balance to improve the application of an inert sub irrigation layer to replace the compost.
A large set of diverse measurement data will be produced. The data are analyzed in the form of balances for water and global nutrient level. Deviations in the transport of individual elements compared to the global transport of nutrients will increase our detailed understanding of the system. The balances, together with the knowledge of the experiments with inert sub irrigation layers, will facilitate and guide the further replacement of compost.