According to an August 31 survey of members of the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA), whose members represent approximately 95 percent of all North American peat production, the peat harvest season has been adequate, but not strong, and could cause shortages and potentially higher transportation costs.
Down To The Dirty Details
The survey inquired about the status of CSPMA members’ 2015 Actual Harvest (including an estimate of what can be expected to be harvested for the remainder of the season) as a percentage of their 2015 Expected Harvest. The lack of a strong harvest overall may challenge peat availability.
The Prairie Provinces (Manitoba 98 percent, Saskatchewan 88 percent and Alberta 94 percent), experienced early favorable weather conditions and a strong start to the year. This helped to minimize periodic, negative, weather-related conditions during the balance of the harvest season, and the harvest numbers are close to achieving the expected amounts.
In Québec’s North Shore (52 percent) and South Shore (72 percent), the results are well below expectations. This is primarily due to a later start and continuous, often heavy rain throughout the balance of the season.
In the Maritime Provinces (New Brunswick [NB] and Prince Edward Island [PEI]), the largest peat producing region in Canada, the industry has achieved its expected harvest volumes. (NB North 98 percent, NB South 94 percent and PEI percent). More favorable weather conditions allowed for longer stretches of harvesting and a normal harvest year.
Updates To Come
Further adjustments to this release may be made dependent on the ability to harvest in the fall season. Currently, due to a relatively low entry inventory level and regional harvest shortages, the supply of product, particularly from the East, may suffer. Customers may see product from non-regional shipping points and, as a result, higher transportation costs may occur.
CSPMA members say they are committed to working cooperatively with their commercial business partners to minimize the disruptions from the adverse harvest season. For more information, visit the CSPMA website.