The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) conducted a survey of their members on the status of their 2021 Actual Harvest as a percentage of their 2021 Expected Harvest on August 31.
The 2021 Actual Harvest is defined as the volume of CFT of harvest that corporately was achieved as of August 31, plus, what can reasonably be expected to be harvested for the last few weeks of the season considering normal harvesting conditions.
The 2021 Expected Harvest is defined as the volume of CFT that equates to a) market needs, plus b) anticipated buffer as at the end of the 2021 season, minus c) inventory on hand at the start of the 2021 season (what was left of the 2020 buffer).
The harvest overall varied regionally, differentiating between Eastern and Western Canadian harvest areas. Eastern harvest areas were below the industry expectations, while in the West the harvest exceeded or fully achieved industry expectations.
In Western Canada, all regions met or exceeded targeted volumes (Manitoba, 102%; Saskatchewan, 109%; Alberta, 108%). Spring was relatively early and reasonably dry in all three provinces enabling a good start. A significant, and in some cases record breaking heat and drought period across Western Canada, extended through much of the summer and into early fall 2021. These favorable conditions supported the positive results.
In Manitoba, weather conditions (including provincially mandated fire watches) limited harvest and plant operations, constraining capacity. Industry and Government of Manitoba officials are now working on a protocol regime to deal with potential future extreme conditions.
In New Brunswick, both North and South regions were below expected harvest volumes (New Brunswick North, 80%; New Brunswick South, 76%). Varied weather patterns combined with the late start and the remnants of Hurricane Ida, constrained harvest throughout the Maritimes. The harvest on Québec’s South Shore (97%) and North Shore (80%) were below expectations. Several summer storms, particularly on the north shore, did not permit either region in achieving their targeted volumes. Similar weather patterns affected the Ontario (87%) harvest.
South of the boarder, Minnesota, U.S., (79%) experienced a lower-than-expected harvest because of weather patterns.
As in the past, CSPMA members are committed to working cooperatively with their commercial business partners. CSPMA members continue to harvest peat moss in a responsibly managed way that delivers social and economic benefits to many communities across North America. In addition, CSPMA members are engaged in increasing harvesting capacity through investments in plant infrastructure, harvesting equipment, bog openings, and personnel training.