Challenging year so far for peat harvesting

September 15, 2014
Written by Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association
Sept. 15, 2014, St. Albert, Alta. — Peat harvesting this year has been challenging, according to the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association.

A survey of CSPMA members was conducted on August 31 regarding the status of their 2014 “actual harvest” (including an estimate of what can be expected to be harvested for the remainder of the season) as a percentage of their 2014 “expected harvest.”

In general, the harvest season has been challenging, with lower than expected harvest across most production regions due, primarily, to adverse weather conditions across Canada.

EASTERN CANADIAN HARVESTS BELOW AVERAGE

In Eastern Canada (New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island), the largest peat producing region in Canada, the industry is considerably below average in its expected harvest volumes.

• New Brunswick North – 61 per cent.

• New Brunswick South – 67 per cent.

• P.E.I. – 65 per cent.

A delayed start to the harvest season combined with a wet summer has significantly reduced production volumes.

IMPRESSIVE RESULTS IN QUEBEC

In Québec’s North Shore (98 per cent), the results are more favourable with the majority of members meeting their expectations.

The harvest on Québec’s South Shore (105 per cent) is at or slightly above expectations for most producers. This is primarily due to a mid-late summer occurrence of good harvest weather.

PRAIRIE HARVESTS BELOW AVERAGE

The Prairie provinces – (Manitoba (73 per cent), Saskatchewan (70 per cent and Alberta (71 per cent) – have experienced a below average harvest, primarily due to adverse weather.

The CSPMA will update this report following the fall season harvest.

The industry had lower than normal carryover inventory volumes, particularly in the West, from the 2013 harvest season.

As such, many members are less able to absorb the harvest shortfall than has been the case in previous years.

As in the past, the CSPMA members are committed to working co-operatively with their commercial business partners to minimize the disruptions from the adverse harvest season.

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