Mushroom research

Area of Expertise:

Mushroom research at AFBI Loughgall is directed towards strengthening competitiveness and promoting the sustainability of the local industry.


Shelf cropping of mushrooms
Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) are the main horticultural crop in Northern Ireland with an annual Industry value of ca £40 m.  The primary objective of mushroom and composting research at AFBI-Loughgall is to strengthen competitiveness and promote sustainability for the local industries. 

Key research priorities include:


Sustainable and competitive advantage   

Minimising environmental impact

  • Effective end of crop sterilisation
  • Re-use of spent mushroom compost
  • Peat substitution in casing and horticultural substrates

Safe, wholesome, quality food

Collaborations at National and International level  have also been developed over many years fostering close links between policy makers, scientists, composters, mushroom producers and major Industry stakeholders.  Effective knowledge transfer is a key priority at AFBI –Loughgall and active involvement in Industry conferences  ensures  direct access to results and best practice publications for sustainable mushroom production . 


MushTV” is an excellent example of one strategic alliance where interested parties from Ireland, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland came together to work with the main providers of mushroom research to focus on Trichoderma and Virus, two major problems for the industry in an EU FP7 project. Disease control had been compromised in recent years by the withdrawal of key pesticides and disinfectants and this project provided research-based solutions for the mushroom industry to deal with these two relatively new major diseases affecting production (Mush TV publications). 

Contact: Mushroom research group