Different growing techniques are used in the mushroom industry for the production of mushrooms throughout the United States. According to the latest statistical data published by the United States Department of Agriculture, the mushroom production in 1976-77 reached a record high of 347.1 million pounds. This is 12 percent above the 1975-76 crop and 16 percent more than 1974-75. The crop is valued at 255.7 million dollars - up 34 percent from the 1975-76 value of 191.1 million dollars. While the production increased 12 percent above the 1975-76 crop, the value of the crop increased 34 percent, compared with the same fiscal year.The consumption of fresh mushrooms is constantly increasing. Five years ago 30 percent were sold fresh while 70 percent were processed. Processors use 52 percent of the total production and 48 percent goes to the fresh market According to the USDA figures, our present per capita consumption is 2.2 pounds per person in comparison with 1.6 in 1972-73. This is an increase of 37.5 percent within four years and almost double when compared with 1968-69. Imports are one of the main factors in the mushroom industry because of their influence on the economy. 57.3 million canned pounds of mushrooms were imported into the United States in 1975-76 and 74.6 million pounds during 1976-77. This represents an increase of 30.2 percent. The value of the imported mushrooms during 1976-77 was 74.4 million dollars, which is 29.1 percent of the value of all mushrooms produced in the United States. There are 560 mushroom farms in the United States producing mushrooms. Seventy seven percent of these farms have less than 50,000 square feet of bed or tray space. These farms account for one fourth of the mushroom production. Thirteen percent of these farms account for 50,000 to 100,000 square feet of the total production. Only 3 percent of the farms with over 300,000square feet of beds or trays account for almost half of the U5.production.
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