‘Beyond Peat’ will assess current, available alternative growth and casing materials across five key sub-sectors of horticulture while also developing advanced growth media utilising new technologies to transform organic wastes into materials with favourable physical characteristics for plant and mushroom performance.
Peat has become an essential component in the production of plants and mushrooms in professional horticulture, due to its favourable physical, chemical and biological characteristics.
However there is a pressing need to evaluate and develop alternatives which have a favourable environmental profile while also maintaining crop yield and quality.
To underpin the materials assessed and developed, life cycle assessments of the proposed peat alternatives will be conducted to ensure they have the necessary favourable environmental characteristics.
Independent assessment of the agronomic and economic implications of alternative growing and casing materials will inform national policy while supporting the professional horticultural sector transition from peat, where achievable in a sustainable manner.