Selling Price of Shiitake Mushrooms

Jerry Haugen mycowrld at
Sat Oct 7 12:44:53 EST 1995

pokerholm at (P Okerholm) wrote:
>         Can anyone explain the apparent discrepency between the NASS
> figures as published in their annual Specialty Mushrooms Report and the
> U.S.Wholesale Market Prices as quoted by the USDA. 
>         The NASS report shows the average price per pound of Shiitake to
> be $3.83. This is supposedly the average of all mushrooms sold at the
> first point of sale, including wholesale, retail etc.
>         The wholesale market prices have been consistently above that for
> all but some #2 mushrooms. Unless the bulk of the mushrooms sold are #2's
> its hard to see where the $3.83 comes from; particularly if you assume
> that the retail market, which should be higher, is in there also.
>         Can someone enlighten me? This is very important to me because I'm
> only a few weeks away from  having my own production capability and I was
> assuming a worst case scenario of at least $4.00/lb, based on the
> wholesale market figures.  
>        Can I buy a Mercedes or not?    ;^)
> Paul
Paul,  Here's the way I read it.  First, the NASS figures are very 
incomplete.  You'll note that there are many states that don't report 
any mushroom growers at all.  They also seem to be biased toward the
large producers that do not sell direct to retail.  More small 
producers sell direct to retail, but they don't contribute nearly 
the volume as the big firms.  I suspect that the overall contribution 
of sales at the retail level to the NASS prices is about nil.  There 
are also a lot of #2's on the market. Finally, the NASS report is 
based upon a survey of growers who have to answer the questions 
accurately.  Surveys are notorious for collecting inaccurate answers.  
Having said all that, the NASS figures are probably still the best
data available as a year long average.  The daily reports from the 
terminal markets have their own set of problems.  When in doubt,
use the lower sale price and don't forget all of your costs.  Let 
us know when you get that Mercedes!!!


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