Peat prices may rise in 2010 following poor harvests this year

The price of peat may rise next spring after harvests fell this summer. With the season almost over, wet weather for a second successive year means stocks are low.

HTA business development director Tim Briercliffe said: "Because of supply and demand, peat could become more expensive. It has been a bad harvest, which has affected what is available."

Scotts general manager Martin Breddy said: "Harvests have been 50 to 70 per cent of a normal year."

He said stocks have declined but "we're not at the point where we can judge what will happen (to prices). In October/November we'll take a view, which is very late for the season ahead."

Sinclair managing director Danny Adamson said prices would rise by "single-digit percentages", adding: "Harvests for us were better than last year because we got out earlier in April and we have additional bogs bought from Metcalf in east Lancashire. We have what we need for next season but we would have liked more. We're one-third short of expectations and would have liked to have built resources. Last year we had to buy in from abroad. This year we won't have to. We've been investing big six-figure sums in peat replacement but ultimately we still depend on half-decent weather."

Garden centres were still keen to hang onto cash, he added, and their pre-season orders were as small as in 2008, when the recession hit, leading to a rush in the spring.

Briercliffe said Defra minister Hilary Benn must use the industry's Growing Media Association to help cut peat use; Benn is rumoured to want to ban peat ahead of next year's election as a vote-grabbing measure. "The only way is from within the industry - consumers are not interested," Briercliffe said.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Tractors: market roundup

Tractors: market roundup

Manufacturers are working to provide solutions to many challenges. Sally Drury looks at their newest models.

What does the Agriculture Bill mean for growers?

What does the Agriculture Bill mean for growers?

The publication of the Agriculture Bill this week formally kick-starts the Government's plans to implement a "green Brexit" for farming, the area of the economy most impacted by the UK's withdrawal from the EU from next March.

How might the Government's no-deal Brexit plans affect growers?

How might the Government's no-deal Brexit plans affect growers?

The Government maintains that a no-deal Brexit "remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome". But it has begun publishing a series of "technical notices" intended to explain the consequences for all parts of the economy should no deal be agreed with the EU by March next year.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Horticulture Week Top UK FRUIT PRODUCERS

See our exclusive RANKING of UK Fruit Producers by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon