The “Bund Deutscher Champignon- und Kulturpilzanbauer” (BDC) held its annual meeting for the 75th year September 28-30 in Parkhotel Heilbronn, where the members got together for a series of closed meetings on Thursday 28 September. Chairman Hans Deckers kicked off the public part on Friday by welcoming everyone.
Marketing and casing
Michael Legrand from the ‘Grüne Medienhaus’ reported on the efforts to persuade consumers to buy more mushrooms. The message: mushrooms are healthy, regionally produced, available year round and easy to prepare. Natalie Rangno, of the IHD in Dresden works on a project called Mykodeck, trying to find an alternative for casing soil made from peat to use in Agaricus cultivation. Mixtures put forward by the IHD as an alternative to peat casing have been tested at several commercial companies and results are encouraging: the expectation is, that in the future it will be possible to produce mushrooms without peat.
Harvest systems compared
Hans Deckers summarized the afternoon program with the words: ‘How do I get the mushrooms into the tray with as few hands as possible?’ The approach of the BDC was, to let four supplying companies, all of which already have running systems, explain why their harvesting system is better than the rest; the Drawer system (Christiaens Group), the Tilting bed system (TLT Automation), The Axis system (Axis Harvesting) and GTL Europe’s Tilting bed system.
After the traditional festive evening, the group headed to Schwaigern on Saturday, where – in collaboration with GTL Europe and Limbraco, a modern farm has been built for the company Pilzland. The company is built according to the principle of the Limbraco ‘pull-over’ system, with the preparation rooms on one side and, the harvesting rooms on the other, that are equipped with GTL tilting shelves. These tilt towards the pickers, who pick with two hands and then place the mushrooms in a belt with holes, automatically placed in trays, and moved to the packing hall, increasing productivity.
A big report on this event, as well as a comprehensive overview of the four automated harvesting systems presented at the BDC Jahrestagung, can be found in Mushroom Business 121 (October 2023).
In the picture: The speakers from the tech companies, flanked by the chairman and vice chairman of the BDC. Ltr: Hans Deckers (chairman), Jack Lemmen (GTL-Europe), Jan-Emiel Tack (TLT Automation), Richard Greer (Axis), Roland van Doremaele (Christiaens), Stefan Glibetic (Mycionics) en Torben Kruse (vice chairman).