South Australian mushroom producer P&L Rogers has invested A$4.5m in a new composing facility, reports the ABC.
The site at Port Wakefield will use by-products from local chicken and crop farms to produce raw compost, pasteurised compost and the be used to inoculate mushroom spawn, in turn enabling consistant production of high quality mushrooms.
The land acquired for the site is 100km away from the farm, with P&L Rogers’ formerly sourcing its compost from 400km away.
"The major benefit is that it gives us vertical integration whereas now we rely on another farm to supply it, so we'll be basically autonomous,” Rogers told the ABC. "In the long term it will give us the opportunity to basically double our output when the demand comes online."
The family owned farm produces 35 tonnes of mushrooms each week, with the new facility partly funded by a A$220,000 State Government Regional Development Fund grant.
"This first stage will invest A$3.37m into the Yorke and Mid North region and create five ongoing jobs and 20 jobs during construction," Rogers said. "We may also have an opportunity to help Primo abattoirs out.
“We're in the process of negotiating with them at the moment about utilising some of their wastewater for composting."