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Peat comes from the slow accumulation of vegetation, much of it moss. Peat bogs have been developing on the New Brunswick landscape since the end of the last ice age. Studying the plants and animals that accumulate in the bog can provide a window into our postglacial history. Peat is also mined in our province. In New Brunswick most of the peat extraction is used in horticulture; added to soil or in growing mixes as a soil conditioner to loosen clay and improve moisture retention. Most of the sphagnum moss peat used in North America before 1942 came from Europe. The war interrupted these sources spurring peat production in New Brunswick. In 1942 the Fafard Peat Moss Company shipped 8,000 bales of peat by train to the United States from its operation near Shippagan. More than 13,000,000 bales of peat are extracted annually by the peat industry today.