Effects of ammonia suppressants used in poultry litter on mushroom compost preparation and production
Ammonia suppressants are applied to chicken litter to decrease ammonia levels. Mushroom ('Agaricus bisporus') producers use poultry litter to increase the N in the compost. To determine the influence of ammonia suppressants used in poultry litter on compost preparation and mushroom production, four mushroom crops were cultivated from compost prepared using litter treated with PLT (acidifying additive), Barn Fresh (adsorbent additive) and Impact-P (digestive additive) during the poultry production process. In general, no significant differences were noted between treatments for total nitrogen, ammonia, pH, EC, ash and moisture content when compost or the headspace air was sampled during all stages of compost preparation. Nor were mushroom yields, the amino acid contents of the substrate or of the mushrooms significantly affected by these ammonia suppressants in the poultry litter. Thus, the mushroom industry can confidently use poultry litter amended with PLT, Impact-P and Barn Fresh at the recommended rates.