Industrial Minerals

Commodity Summaries

Sphagnum Peat Moss



Sphagnum moss is a plant that grows in an aquatic bog environment. Dead moss accumulates in the bog and because of the unique environment in the bog, decomposes slowly and accumulates. Its large cell structure enables it to absorb air and water like a sponge. Although peat moss does not contain nutrients, it absorbs nutrients added to, or present in the soil, releasing them over time, as the plants require. This preserves nutrients, which are otherwise lost through leaching.

Image of peat moss

Peat is unconsolidated, simicarbonized plant remains of a water saturated bog environment formed since the last deglaciation in Manitoba. Vegetable matter structures are visible. Carbon content is about 60% and oxygen content is about 30%.


Canada has 270 million acres or approximately 25% of the world's one billion acres of peat land. The sphagnum peat moss industry is a growth industry with annual growth forecasted between 3% – 5% per year. The primary markets are the horticultural industry. The U.S. is a major export market for Canadian product. In Manitoba, Sun Gro Horticulture Canada Ltd. and Premier Horticulture Ltd. have peat harvesting and processing operations.

  • Sun Gro Horticulture harvests from three locations in Elma, Moss Spur and Julius North. Sun Gro operates plants in Elma, Julius and Vassar.
  • Premier Horticulture harvests from the Caribou Cluster bog. A plant is located in Richer.
  • Berger Peat Moss harvests from the Deer Lake bog. A plant is located adjacent to the bog.


Peat bogs are composed of about 92% water. In preparation for harvest, drainage ditches are dug around and through the bog to drain the peat. Plant material, stumps roots and debris are removed from the area. Harrows loosen the top peat moss, which then dries in the sun for two to three hours before being vacuumed into large harvesters. It is transported from the field to the plant where it is screened, graded and baled forstorage or shipment.


Berger Peat Moss
43037 Provincial Road 503
Hadashville, Manitoba
R0E 0X0
Phone: 204-426-2342


Premier Tech Horticulture
Provincial Road #302
North Box 270
Richer, Manitoba
R0E 1S0
Phone: 204-422-8805
Fax: 204-422-5295


Sun Gro Horticulture Canada Ltd.
P.O. Box 100
Elma, Manitoba
R0E 0Z0
Phone/Fax: 204-426-2121
Phone: 204-426-2121
Fax: 204-426-2131
Customer Resource Center:
Toll free: 1-888-982-4500
Fax: 1-888-982-4501

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