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Shiitake mushrooms growing on oak logs CAChase/iStock/Thinkstock
LOG ON: Specialty mushroom production doesn’t require a major startup expense.

Wanted: Specialty mushroom growers

Cornell University Small Farms Program seeks Northeast grower input for lucrative mushroom enterprises.

You may not think of growing specialty mushrooms on logs, in barns, high tunnels or greenhouses as a viable for-profit enterprise. But with fresh shiitakes wholesaling for $10 to $12 a pound and dried mushrooms going for $6 to $8 an ounce, it’s worth a closer look — especially if you’re milking a small dairy herd headed for a dispersion sale.

You don’t need a huge investment to reach these lucrative markets. Learn more about commercial specialty mushroom cultivation at

Northeast grower input sought
The Cornell University Small Farms Program is seeking survey input from farmers who have grown and sold specialty mushrooms commercially during 2017 in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. The goal is to get a pulse on the state of specialty mushroom production in the Northeast, and track this budding industry’s growth.

The survey asks about harvest numbers, sales and marketing strategies. Producers are asked to respond by March 23 at CUSFP's Mushroom Growers Survey 2017.

All answers are kept confidential. No individual responses will be shared publicly, assures Steve Gabriel, Cornell Extension educator and coordinator of the Northeast Mushroom Growers Network.

“In addition to collecting sales and production data, we’re also interested in capturing the research and education needs of the mushroom growing community,” says Gabriel, who also is a forest farmer and mushroom grower.

After the results are compiled, the program will offer a summary of the data via a public webinar, which can be useful to individuals and institutions for grants, market assessment and other uses for a growing industry. Got questions? Contact Gabriel at


TAGS: Marketing
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