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Mushroom sales exceed $1 billion in value for third consecutive year

The value of domestic mushroom production topped $1 billion for the third in a row, according to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

The approximately 895 million-pound crop from 2012-13 shows an overall 14 percent increase in production since 2009-10.

"As the latest NASS report suggests, demand for mushrooms remains strong -- up 14 percent over the last three years," Bart Minor, president of the Mushroom Council, said in a press release. "If you consider shipment figures reported to the Mushroom Council on first-handler reports, they appear to be getting stronger.

"Mushroom Council shipment records show fresh shipments have grown 11 percent over the last three years," Minor continued. "The Mushroom Council data compare favorably with IRI reported scanner sales that also show mushroom volume grew 4 percent from July 2012 through June 2013. More pounds shipped at higher prices is the very definition of strong demand."

Agaricus mushroom production totaled 877 million pounds. Pennsylvania accounted for 62 percent of the total volume of sales and second-ranked California contributed 13 percent similar to 2011-12. Brown mushrooms, including Portabella and Crimini varieties, accounted for 152 million pounds, up 4 percent from last season. Brown mushrooms accounted for 17 percent of the total Agaricus volume sold and 21 percent of the total Agaricus value.

The USDA's National Agricultural Statistic Service provides an annual report on domestic mushroom production, which was released on Aug. 20. The report surveys all domestic production of mushrooms from July 1, 2012 to June 31, 2013.

The value of sales for commercially grown specialty mushrooms totaled $64.7 million, up 7 percent from 2011-12. Specialty mushrooms include Shiitake, Oyster and other varieties. The average price per pound received by specialty growers is up 18 cents from the previous season.