Chris McLoghlin Age 33, Melbourne, Victoria

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Business The Organic Mushroom Farm
Expertise Director
Crop Focus Mushrooms
Methods Certified Organic

What is your current focus on the farm?
Increasing efficiencies and increasing profits through technology.

How do you feel about being nominated for the YGOTY award?
I’m very grateful to be one of the ten Young Grower of the Year nominees for 2018.

Why do you think it is important to honour young growers?
It can be difficult to get young people into the industry, for them to make farming their career of choice. Awards like this raise the industry’s profile and show what younger growers are doing.

What are the major challenges to young growers?
Succession and family farm legacy planning is really important. As is supporting entry points for younger people to join the industry. The industry has work to do around both of these challenges.

How are you using IPM?
We have a controlled environment to keep pests out. Being unable to use the most regular chemical and fungicide tools in our Certified Organic operation, we rely on physical barriers, and fastidious hygiene from staff. We keep the surrounding environments very well manicured to discourage potential scarids and other bugs from getting comfortable in the long grasses!

What’s your favourite beneficial bug? And why?
There’s actually an array of bacteria in our casing soil (peat moss), that precipitate the fruiting of the mushroom organism. Part of what we do in managing the growing environment is mimicking conditions that would occur after rain and storms – which is the ideal environment for this bacteria, and subsequently our mushrooms to thrive.

Are you attending Hort Connections conference? Have you been before? What are you looking forward to?
Yes I will attend Hort Connections. I’ve been before and it’s good to see the different parts of the supply chain. I’m looking forward to seeing what the latest is at in terms of what is going on across the industry.