Importance of Mycorrhizae in Forestry

Ron Wenrich woodtick at
Fri Dec 26 17:06:50 EST 1997

punoczka at wrote:

> However keep in mind that if supply increases faster than demand the
> market price will come down to quite low levels.
> Since the cost of entry to this type of truffle-growing is fairly low
> and many people can get into it there will eventually be
> overproduction with low prices.
> You might consider what happened to the ginseng industry
> and what is happening to the ratite industry (emus and ostriches)
> along with red deer, llamas and alpacas, and other sure-fire
> get-rich-quick ideas.
> This type of production seems to be very seasonal in nature.
> What the market wants is a steady supply of fresh truffles each day.
> Thus in the long run the real winners will be those growers who can
> perfect methods for culturing truffles indoors (under glass or in
> tunnels) on a steady schedule as is done with regular cultivated
> mushrooms.

I don't believe that truffles can be cultured indoors.  Truffles in Europe
still fetch a handsome price, and they still cultivate outdoors.  Your
economic arguement is on the mark, however as prices drop, more demand will
be created from the "bargain" prices.  Eventually, a stable market price will
be reached which covers the harvest costs and meets demand.

> Most people would be better off to plant a hundred acres
> of high-value mixed hardwoods and softwoods
> and to manage this quite intensively to start generating
> a steady income in about 30 years.
> This will not yield a big sudden pay-off but it will make a nice safe
> pension plan for your old age and provide a fair amount
> of quiet pleasure in the meantime.

The point is to grow other products which is in harmony with timber
production.  Mycorrhizae offers both a growth inhancer as well as another
product.  Same goes for other botanicals.  High-value timber can be
cultivated along with other products.  The reason this hasn't been done in
the past is through ignorance on the part of land managers.  I'd like to see
that change so there isn't so much pressure to cut timber long before


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