Mushrooms may be a solution for farmers

Posted at: 05/29/2014 5:48 PM
Updated at: 05/29/2014 5:49 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Farmers across the country are having problems. “It’s a pretty serious concern, it has caused tens of millions of dollars in crop damage nationwide,” said Travis Custer of San Juan Mycology.

Not bugs, and not weeds, but the chemicals that kill weeds. The problem is those chemicals can be carried to other areas through compost and manure and kill vegetables. Contaminated soil can cause problems for years, but mushrooms may be the answer.

Custer grows mushrooms to sell at local farmers markets. He said not long ago his neighbors had problems with herbicide-contaminated soil.

But soon after, he learned about the how mushrooms are known to break down chemicals. “At that point we realized that we might have some of the species and infrastructure that to do a small study”

The study is in the early stages but they are hopeful that it will lead to a method to use mushrooms to clean the soil of destructive herbicides. “We really have to focus on the quality of that food, and if farmers are dealing with contaminants that are causing crop failures, they are not producing the food that the community needs.”

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