Organix - Model RePeet™ - Soil Amendment
Peat moss is North America’s most utilized soil amendment. Its ability to hold moisture and provide the horticulture industry with a safe, reliable growth medium is well known. In fact, the peat moss industry has now grown to an estimated $500 million in annual sales and can be found in every landscape supply store, home improvement store, garden center and nursery supply wholesaler on the continent. In spite of all the success, the peat moss industry is facing some substantial challenges that are about to redefine their industry.
The Environment. Peat is mined from the earth in large plots of land commonly identified as peat bogs. Many of these bogs are located in southern Canada and extend into the hundreds of thousands of acres. It can safely be said that there is no shortage of peat. There are, however, other external pressures creating tension in the peat industry. Peat bogs have their own specific ecological segment of the earth’s wetland habitat—insects, amphibians, plant life and more. Bogs are inherently wet and must be drained to be harvested. Once drained, the ecology of a bog is lost. New bogs can grow in about 40 years, but replacing a 10,000 year old bog is simply not possible. This is similar to the situation the old growth timber industry was facing in the early 1980’s. Those trees are now protected.
Weather. Peat mining is sensitive to harsh and wet weather. Heavy rains can affect and even halt mining operations until the weather has turned. In the very wet spring of 2005, the entire industry saw a shortage of peat—in conjunction with increased prices—making many nurseries and suppliers consider other options, of which there are few.
Fuel Prices. In the last three years the price of fuel has almost doubled and for any business in the transportation industry this has created a significant financial impact. Since most of North America’s peat moss comes from Canada, shipments have to be sent long distances—sometimes traveling over 2,000 miles to their final destination. This not only creates financial pressure, but also increased truck traffic that could best be served by more local markets.
Global Warming. Scientists currently don’t agree regarding the impacts of peat mining on global warming. Some say the results could be devastating; others dismiss it as environmentalist tactics. Either way, peat mining is sure to continue to be debated in the press and trade journals for years to come.
Import perceptions. The horticultural industry is very sensitive to importing materials to serve their industry. Since most peat is brought in from Canada, U.S. dollars are sent outside the country, a practice that many growers find uncomfortable, since they themselves feel the sting of ornamentals being shipped in from outside the country to compete for market share. Even the most commonly used peat moss alternative—coconut coir—is imported from Indonesia and abroad. Until now, there simply has not been a satisfactory replacement for peat moss that originates in the United States.
The Only Viable Peat Moss Replacement—RePeet™ Soil Amendment
RePeet™ the renewable peat-free alternative is the first real answer to the ever growing challenges facing the peat moss industry and its customers. RePeet™ is the soil amendment solution that the U.S. horticultural industry has been waiting for. It is a true peat moss replacement having undergone a life similar to one spent in a peat bog, but in a much shorter time. The primary component of RePeet™ is digested dairy manure which is processed through an anaerobic digester. Anaerobic digesters are the latest movement in the US energy market to discover ways of decreasing dependence on foreign oil and are most commonly located on a dairy farm. These digesters operate in a liquid saturated environment, void of oxygen like a peat bog.
Renewable. RePeet™ is derived from a residual; it is not a virgin material mined from the earth. It is a by-product of the dairy industry and, when processed correctly, is a veritable twin of peat moss. In blind handling tests, many industry professionals can’t distinguish mined peat from renewable RePeet™ soil amendment.
Responsible. RePeet™ soil amendment is a direct result of proactive residuals management from large dairy operations that are part of the renewable energy movement. Every cubic foot of RePeet™ is the result of renewable energy production in the form of biogas. RePeet™ facilities are among the most complete methods for capturing and utilizing dairy residuals ever.
Reliable. A RePeet™ facility is an in-vessel, processing facility. That means, unlike conventional peat mining, the facility is not affected by rain, storms and snow. Anaerobic digesters produce biogas 365 days of the year, so material is always being processed (harvested). Weather cannot delay the production of RePeet™.
Regional. RePeet™ soil amendment facilities are located at multiple, large dairy operations - found in almost every state in the union. Therefore, the facility that ships to the RePeet™ wholesaler is the closest facility. This means fewer trucks on the road for less time. It also means that RePeet™ wholesalers are contributing to a regional or possibly even a local economy when they purchase RePeet™.
Reasonable. RePeet™ is competitively priced with peat moss. Manufacturing costs are considerably lower than outdoor bog mining, harvesting, packaging and transport.
Replacement. RePeet™ soil amendment meets or exceeds many of the characteristics of peat moss. In addition to looking, feeling and smelling like peat; RePeet™ is more pH neutral than peat moss (6.5 vs. 4.5); RePeet™ has low salt content and as a result has low electrical conductivity; RePeet™ has excellent porosity and water holding capacity like peat; Cationic exchange ability is comparable to mined peat and Bulk density (weight) of RePeet™ soil amendment is very similar to that of peat.