University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Ecology and Natural Resources Collection

Page View

Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Sheridan, Eugene T.
Peat,   pp. 897-904 PDF (828.0 KB)

Page 900

Soil improvement                   
Potting soils                     
Packing flowers, shrubs, etc         
Seed inoculant                   
Mushroom beds                  
Earthworm culture                
Mixed fertilizers                   Total'                      
 330,144 4,848 
 606,679 7,112 
may not add to totals shown 
because of 
independent rounding. 
Table 6~—Commcrdal sales of peat in the United States in 1972, by use
 In bulk In packages Total' 
Short tons Value Short tons Value Short tons Value 
(thousands) (thousands) (thousands) 
 $1,666 320,537 $4,495 518,583 $6,161 
 222 6,762 117 33,794 339 
 221 170 8 27,474 229 
 -- 2,448 224 2,448 224 
 38 -- -_ 2,749 38 
 50 227 4 5,994 54 
 66 -_ -- 15,637 66 
about two-thirds was reed-sedge peat, about one-fourth was moss peat, and
the remainder was peat humus. 
 States leading in sales of packaged peat were Michigan, Illinois, Indiana,
and New 
Jersey, which, together, reported 84% of the total sales of packaged peat.
Michigan was the largest producer of packaged peat with 55% of the total
 Prices of peat at individual operations varied greatly in 1972, with the
price depending mainly upon the kind of peat sold, the amount of processing,
and whether the material was sold packaged or in bulk. 
 The overall average value per ton, f.o.b. plant, for peat sold in 1972 was
$11.72. This was an increase of $0.03 per ton over the average value of 1971,
and the bulk of the increase was attributed mainly to higher average receipts
for peat sold by producers in New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. 
 The average price of bulk peat increased $0.31 per ton to $8.19. Packaged
prices, however, decreased an average of $0.20 per ton to $14.68. The average
price for bulk peat was influenced mainly by higher overall prices for bulk
sales by California, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina producers; the decline
in the unit value of packaged peat was attributed to generally smaller receipts
for each ton of packaged peat sold by Michigan producers. 
 Imported -peat had a total value of $17.2 million. The total value of imported
peat was 13% greater than in 1971, partially because there was 14,000 tons
more peat 
imported but also because the average value per ton increased from $51.11
 Although the average value of imported peat was nearly four times that of
domestically produced packaged peat, their values are not comparable because
they are assigned at different marketing levels. Also, imported peat has
different physical properties than most of the peat sold domestically, and
it is usually sold on a volume basis rather than by weight. Each 100 pounds
of a typical air-dried imported peat will measure approximately 12 bushels,
whereas the same quantity of a typical domestic peat will measure 3 to 4
bushels. Only a few domestic operations produced peat with properties similar
to those of the imported kind. 
 Peat is broadly classified in the United States as moss -peat, reed-sedge
peat, and humus, according to the materials from which it has been formed
and its degree of decomposition. Moss peat is a type that has been formed
principally from sphagnum, and/or other mosses; reed-sedge peat has originated
mainly from reeds, sedges, and other swamp plants; and humus is peat too
decomposed for identification of its biological origin. 
 The quantity of peat imported into the United States in 1972 totaled 310,000
short tons. This was 5% more peat than was im 
ported in 1971 and the largest quantity imported in any year to date. 
 Canada provided the bulk of the im 

Go up to Top of Page