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Fish Compost Developed On Quebec Farm
Brothers Garry, Joey, Lloyd, and Roderick Hayes of Shigawake, Quebec diversified their beef and dairy farm by starting a company that sells a compost mix made from cattle manure, sphagnum peat moss and fish scraps from local fish processing plants. Their "Seagro" compost has turned out to be a profitable and quickly expanding business.
  "Originally, we were plowing down the fish scraps on the farm, but we weren't getting their full value, so we started experimenting with compost," Garry explains. "We now sell Seagro Progro Mix and Seagro Premium Potting Mix. We made all our own baggers, screeners and conveyers and have had many international inquiries about the equipment and our composting expertise."
  Seagro compost also serves as a fertilizer - one that doesn't evaporate, blow away or run off when it rains, like traditional fertilizers can. It's much more stable and stays in the soil for up to three years, releasing nutrients slowly, according to the family. Seagro provides improved drainage, aeration and nutrient retention.
  Due to local climate conditions, the Hayes brothers compost their raw ingredients for a full year before packaging. The process is carried out without the aid of chemicals or fillers. The resulting indoor and outdoor gardening product is 100 percent natural and odorless.
  According to Seagro's marketing manager, Jennifer Hayes, the company's biggest avenue for growth, especially in American markets, has been in providing a private label packaging service.
  Marketing directly to retail garden stores has been challenging because of transportation costs, but they've overcome the problem by making their trucking extremely efficient.
  "We've become local distributors of various supplies such as forage seeds, fertilizers, twine and plastic wrap, and this allows us to bring back supplies from other areas after delivering our Seagro products," Jennifer explains. "We try as much as possible to move our products as far as possible with our own trucks, but the majority of our sales are closer to home."
  Seagro Progrow Mix and Seagro Premium Potting Mix both have target retail prices of $7 to $8 (Can.) per 32.8 quart bag. The Hayes family is actively seeking distributors across North America.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Shigawake Organics Ltd., 252 Rte. 132, Shigawake, Quebec, Canada G0C 3E0 (ph 418 752-2549; fax 418 752-7242; contact@shigawakeorganics.com; www.seagro.com).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #6