When instructing pickers picking speed is often priority number 1. The maximum stem length is often only raised later. This should be half the cap diameter of the picked mushroom with a maximum of 15 centimetres. A handy aid is to use a knife with a width that corresponds to the stem length. The picker always has this guide close to hand. In practice the stems are often fully removed. This means the picker is wasting maybe 1 to 2 kilograms of picking performance per hour and throwing away part of the total production. The bucket for stems also fills up too quickly and more time is spent walking up and down to empty it.
Pay attention when looking for the maximum stem length that no stumps with casing soil are left attached to the stem. Another advantage of a long stem is that the mushrooms are easier to present cap upwards. The stem forms a kind of anchor between the mushrooms in the lower layer of the container and prevents them rolling over so quickly. So simply paying attention to the stem length kills more birds with one stone.
Jos Hilkens, AdVisie ‘the mushroom cultivation advisors’