Ag. Technologies.







Volvariella volvacea Sing., the straw mushroom, or paddy straw mushroom is the most popular mushroom in Southeast Asia. . V.diplasia is white while V.Volvacea is blackish. V.bombycina differs from the cultivated V.volvacea in terms of habitat as well as colour.

Area and distribution

The cultivation started in China almost three hundred years ago. Several species of Volvariella have been grown for food. V.bombycina Sing. And V.diplasia (Berk & Br.) Sing, have been cultivated in India.

Method of cultivation

Volvariella volvacea thrives in a temperature range of 28 to 360 C and relative humidity of 75-85% is required. In a modified method of cultivation bundled substrates (rice straw, banana leaves or water hyacinth), prepared in the same way as those used for beds, are soaked in water, drained, then packed (layered) in the wooden frames. Spawn is mixed in with each layer as the frame is packed or filled. The spawned substrate in the boxes may be placed in a specially built incubation room with a high temperature (35 to 380 C) and high relative humidity (at least 75%), or it may be covered with plastic sheets and placed under shade outdoors.


For pasteurization, live steam (pressurized and over 1000 C) is introduced into the mushroom house. Within 2 hours, the air temperature e rises to about 60 to 620 C, which is maintained for another 2 hours. The temperature is then gradually lowered to about to about 520 C by a gentle stream of fresh air. The temperature during the next 8 hours is maintained at 50 TO 520 C by a continuous fresh air supply.

Compost preparation

It should contain the necessary nutrients, released from the raw compost materials during fermentation. Through composting, a mixture of rich organic materials is converted into a selective medium suitable for the growth of the desired mushroom but less suitable for competing organisms. After the Two stages of fermentation, the compost becomes a selective substrate.


For spawning, the air temperature is cooled to 350C and the bed temperature to about 36 to 380 C The amount of spawn to be used is calculated at 1.4% (dry weight) or (wet weight) of the compost.

Crop management after spawning

The optimum temperature for growth of Pleurotus spp. is 23 + - 20 C. Relative humidity in growing room should range from 85-90% during spawn-run.


On fifth day after spawning, mushroom primordia usually appear on the surface of the beds. Four to five days later, the first flush of mushroom is ready for harvest. The first crop of mushroom is usually harvested 10 days after planting the spawn. Volvariella is best harvested at the button (egg-shaped) stage when the volva or the universal veil has not broken. In general, rice straw alone gives lower yields than when it is used in combination with cotton waste. Rice straw is also more prone to a mushroom contaminant called Coprinus, which thrives at a slightly higher temperature (400 C) the Vovlariella. Coprinus popularly called ink caps, also has a higher nitrogen substances so that, when the substrate is supplemented with nitrogen substances such as urea,coprinus out compete Vovlariella. A yield for outdoor beds ranges form 10 to 20% B.E. while indoor beds of cotton waste may yield as high as 50% B.E.