Unfortunately many companies failed to emerge from the winter entirely bubble free. And if testing times are still ahead, then a number of companies will still be fighting last season’s battle. This type of infection is a signal to growers of failing hygiene. It’s important to remedy the situation as soon as possible. An added difficulty is that on many farms the fly population is also increasing, both inside and outside the buildings. This is a problem that has to be tackled first before thinking about any serious bubble (mycogone) control. There’s absolutely no point in using chemical methods to treat wet or dry bubble if there are still insects flying or crawling around. Research by AdVisie in a large growing room has shown that the spores of bubble infection can be spread up to 40 metres away from the source of the infection. 40% of the trapped insects were carrying bubble spores. After filling, it’s therefore essential to destroy all the insects that have entered the growing room. The best way is to use a combination of a quick working insecticide to kill flying pests and an agent with longer efficacy to destroy insects in the casing soil and compost. Obviously, the growing rooms must be well sealed to prevent internal infection. This is the only way to successfully beat an insect plague and the accompanying bubble infection.
Henk van Gerwen, AdVisie `The mushroom cultivation advisers’