What is Sphagnum farming?
Sphagnum farming is the cultivation of peat moss (Sphagnum) aiming for the production and harvest of peat moss biomass. For this purpose the Sphagnum is cultivated in order to gain renewable raw material for the production of horticultural growing media.
Potential sites for Sphagnum cultivation on peat soils are degraded former raised bog sites such as cut-over peat bogs or cultivated bogs, which are currently used as pastures and meadows. Alternatively, Sphagnum can also be cultivated on floating rafts on open water, former peat cuttings in degraded raised bogs or lakes which developed after open-cast lignite mining.
The cultivation of Sphagnum has many benefits:
- Climate: Conservation of carbon fixed in peat and reduction of CO2 emissions by rewetting degraded peatlands
- Environment: Reduction of the emission of pollutants into ground and surface water in comparison to agricultural land use; renewed function of water purification and water retention in peatlands as well as a local cooling effect due to increased water evaporation.
- Wildlife: Habitats for rare and endangered Sphagnum species
- Landscape: Conservation of open landscape.
- Economy: Renewable alternative to depleting fossil raw materials, job creation and alternative means of income in rural areas as well as regional creation of value.
Sphagnum farming on peat soils is a form of paludiculture on raised bog sites.