A laboratory in Limoges teamed up with a producer from the Creuse to develop a natural remedy that will protect vines, cereals and orchards from diseases. The solution? A grey mushroom that grows in a cluster.
For 30 years, the company ChampiCreuse has been the second largest French producer of oyster mushrooms in greenhouses in Saint-Marc-à-Loubaud, Saint-Yriex-La-Montagne, and recently also in an old SNCF tunnel near La Courtine. Today, the company works together with Covertis, a chemistry startup interested in the virtues of this mushroom. “We began to study the chemical composition of the oyster mushroom, which is quite unique and not exploited very much. We now know that it contains molecules that can protect crops. This solution cannot replace pesticides entirely, but it can help reduce their use,” explains Charlotte Moine, president of Covertis.
The product would be effective for large cereal crops, vines and orchards. It would strengthen the plant’s defenses against all forms of aggression such as frost, drought, but also certain types of diseases. Besides, the oyster mushroom turns into a fungicide, which means that it can fight against the appearance of parasitic mushrooms in crops.
Covertis hopes to have its remedy registered by 2021.