Mushroom Farming in California

March 30th, 2021

Demand for mushrooms has been growing annually. In 2018, the global market for harvested mushrooms was an estimated 12.7 million tons, with projected growth to 20.8 million tons by 2026. Growing, harvesting and distributing mushrooms is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide as interest in these edible fungi increases – from adding them to foods to utilizing their natural health benefits in supplements, therapies and more.

This is great news for those looking to cultivate mushrooms, as the market appears to be stable enough to welcome new players into the mix.

The Value of Growing Mushrooms

While many mushrooms grow in the wild and don’t need a human touch to flourish, it is possible for many types of mushrooms to be domesticated while offering a controlled production value.

In addition to high demand, Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms are among the easiest gourmet mushrooms to grow. New growing techniques – including growing mushrooms indoors – allow for quick maturities for some types of mushrooms, of about six to ten weeks from start to harvest.

The selling prices of mushrooms can vary. Non-domesticated fungi varieties that need to be sought out in their natural environments tend to provide the largest price tags. For example, one pound of White Truffles can earn a price of up to $75, while its black counterpart may go as high as $135 per pound.

For cultivated mushrooms, the potential profits can be quite compelling, especially when considering that California’s environment may be ideal for mushroom cultivation. And setting up an initial growing and harvesting operation investment can be relatively affordable.

Mushrooms can even be grown in a backyard with smaller, more targeted production. Mushroom farming offers a great opportunity for those looking to get their start in agriculture because mushrooms aren’t very picky when it comes to light, water and soil requirements.

California climates can present ideal environments to grow a variety of mushrooms all year long – particularly when you consider the moist winters in Northern California. Californians have also been quick to embrace the boom in mushroom cultivation, thanks to the fact that residents here tend to be more health-conscious and interested in the benefits these fungi provide.

Is Mushroom Cultivation a Good Industry to Join?

There seems to be a bright future for the mushroom that goes well beyond its traditional role in cuisines.

From supplements to additives, textile manufacturing, and even applied as an inexpensive way to decontaminate the environment (known as mycoremediation), the potential of the humble mushroom may be applied to many facets of human existence – which presents significant opportunities for newcomers in the industry, as the need for mushroom cultivation will likely increase.

Do You Want to Join This Market?

If you are interested in mushroom agribusiness and need financing, we may be able to help. Community West Bank fulfills the financing needs of our farm and ranch clients with Farmer Mac mortgage loans for land acquisition, loans to refinance existing debt and financing for capital improvements.

For financing questions, please contact Laura Maffei to get started. Call her at (805) 692-4394 or (209) 679-9244, or send an email to LMaffei@CommunityWestBank.com.


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