What really matters in mushroom picking in mushroom growing farms?
Almost every professional, prosperous mushroom growing farm uses specially designed trolleys for mushroom picking. This is very important because it’s the labor cost of the employee and its optimization that are crucial for owners of mushroom growing farms.
A well-designed trolley supports the picker by allowing them to pick mushrooms very quickly while maintaining a minimum of physical effort, which is after all necessary to carry out the harvest in an optimal way.
Trolley manufacturers around the world are trying to deliver increasingly efficient trolleys. Efficient, i.e., those that maximize the speed of the picking while maintaining durability, ergonomic and safety of the employee.
What solutions does a modern mushroom picking trolley offer?
For an owner of a mushroom growing farm, the solutions that directly accelerate mushroom picking are the most important ones and they include, among others:
- movement of the platform to the right and the left is crucial so that the worker can move along the shelving automatically;
- the platform must be powered fully automatically so that the trolley does not need to be moved manually, and for this purpose, the best solution seems to be a simple remote control where the worker selects the "front" or "back" button;
- it is important to move the trolley up and down because the racks have many shelves, and the employee should not waste time and energy to reach them physically (all this should be easily managed in one place from the control panel);
- in the case of upward and downward movement of the platform, it is important that the trolley is made in such a way as to also enable ergonomic picking of mushrooms from the bottom shelf of the shelving;
Another important factor affecting performance is the power supply of the trolley:
- we use batteries, and these must be characterized by an optimally short charging time and very high capacity, so that the employee can operate without interruption even for several dozen hours (but also, they cannot be too heavy and large for them to still remain mobile)
Small but important improvements come in handy:
- good lighting from the trolley, because during the picking, the employee constantly evaluates whether the mushroom is suitable for picking or not, and the better illuminated shelves the less tired the picker's vision;
- weight shelves and mushroom containers, preferably large and adjustable, to adapt them to the conditions and standards of the country concerned;
Accidents at work equal the cost of time-off and sickness, so good trolleys must be safe. Examples of top-quality trolley safety features include:
- anti-fall guardrails which prevent the operation of the trolley without closing them,
- safety brakes which stop the trolley itself when it hits an obstacle or during a potential uncontrolled fall of the platform;
- protection against cutting the hand or arm of the picker during platform manipulation;
- non-slip platform, which makes moving in humid conditions less risky;
- the overall design of the trolley made at minimum in accordance with the safety regulations covered by the CE Machinery Directive
What is selective picking and what are its results?
Selective picking is the synergy of the traits associated with the trolley’s mobility. The key to a mushroom growing farm’s profitability is to provide an employee with solutions that allow them to quickly and easily reach those mushrooms that are already ready for picking.
Faster and therefore easier access to mushrooms that are ready for picking means higher harvesting efficiency, and our calculations show that mushroom growing farms using modern trolleys are able to increase yields by up to 2 kg of mushrooms per m² of crop and reduce the employment rate by an average of 10% to 20% and more.
Where to look for trolleys that will ensure maximum profitability of a mushroom growing farm?
The author of the above content is GROWTIME - a manufacturer of mushroom picking trolleys, which incorporate all the above-mentioned solutions and even some more. Here are the two most important products you should look over:
Mushroom picking trolley PASCAL - https://growtime.eu/en/produkt/pascal-picking-trolley/
Mushroom picking trolley NEWTON - https://growtime.eu/en/produkt/newton-picking-lorry/