Importance of Mycorrhizae in Forestry

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Sat Dec 27 13:51:05 EST 1997


In article <34A42A7A.DB3B3E01 at lebmofo.com>,
  Ron Wenrich <woodtick at lebmofo.com> wrote:
>
>
> punoczka at inforamp.net 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.
>

Evidently the mycelium (the underground portion) can grow in greenhouses.
This process has already been patented by Truffel Agronomique of France.

If, on the other hand, you are asking if truffles can be grown indoors,
the answer so far is no.

> >
> >
> > 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
> maturity.
>
Excellent point.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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