Starting November 9th, maple syrup producers with 1,000 taps or more (as of April 1, 2023) may be eligible for a new cost-share funding program aimed to improve Ontario maple producers’ sustainability, productivity, and growth. Eligible projects can include new equipment purchases and woodlot management activities. Up to $1 million will be invested as part of this initiative.
About the Initiative
The purpose of this initiative is to encourage the economic growth of Ontario’s maple syrup sector by providing cost-share funding for equipment, technology, and consultation services that will increase sustainability, productivity, and growth.
Funding for this initiative comes from the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP), a 5-year agreement between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to help strengthen the agricultural sector.
- Up to $1 million is being invested
- Program recipients are eligible to receive 50% of project costs to a maximum of $20,000
- Eligible costs can be retroactive to April 1st, 2023
Please note that you are only allowed to have one project submitted to the program at a time.
To be eligible for the program you must meet the following requirements:
- Have a minimum of 1,000 taps as of April 1, 2023
- Have a Premises Identification number (PID)
- Have or be enrolled in one of the following:
- Valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN)
- An Order from the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal exempting you from having a FBRN
- A letter from the Indian Agriculture Program of Ontario
- Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP)
Examples of Eligible Equipment Expenses
- Remote monitoring technology
- Generators for remote operations operating off the electrical grid
- Sap collection systems including lateral lines and main lines and their required supporting structures, fittings and parts
- Sap collection pumps (vacuum and transfer)
- Sap coolers
- Reverse osmosis systems
- Evaporator and evaporator monitoring systems
- Preheater attachments for evaporator
- Steam hood for evaporator
- Holding tanks for sap and permeate
- Reverse flow mechanisms and pans
- Sap/syrup processing pumps
- Filter presses
- Syrup bottling/packaging/labelling equipment
Examples of Eligible Activities
- Planning for tubing systems conducted by a third-party service provider (ie. certified maple equipment dealer or independent maple consultant)
- Woodlot improvements conducted by registered professional foresters including the development of a forest plan and/or tree marking
Examples of Ineligible Expenses
- Normal, ongoing operation and/or maintenance costs (i.e., consumables such as filter paper, bottles, labels etc.)
- Building improvements or modifications
- Activities that support the retail, marketing, or tourism related aspects of a maple syrup operation
- Use of funding to subsidize the purchase of common items that can be used for multiple purposes (i.e., digital cameras, printers, shovels, smartphones, measuring tapes etc.)
- Any in-kind contributions (including self-labour and self-installation)
- Costs associated with planting new trees
How to Apply
For more information on the program and how to apply visit:
Maple Production Improvement Initiative – Ontario Soil Crop.
You can read the Program Guide here: Maple Production Improvement Initiative – OSCIA-Delivered Program Guides (ontariosoilcrop.org)
My name is Sophie Krolikowski, and I am the acting Maple, Tree Nut, and Agroforestry Specialist for the next year while Jenny Liu is on leave.
Adapted from article submitted to the Maple Digest in May 2023.
Sap Flow Summary
The 2023 maple season was another in a long line of years that have been record-breaking in some strange capacity due to climate change. Winter was a mixture of warm weather punctuated by severe snowstorms.
On the heels of this unpredictable winter, spring came early and unwelcome to Southern Ontario in the latter half of January. This left producers of all sizes scrambling to put their taps in, as sap doesn’t usually start flowing in the warmest areas until around February 15th. A few large producers and prescient mid-size producers who were tapped early had their first boils by the third week of January. Prolonged stretches of fairly ideal maple weather meant that this was an extra-long season for those in the South, and by the end of March many producers had experienced yet another record-setting crop.
FROM THE CFIA: Oak wilt has been found in a residential area in Niagara Falls, Ontario. This is the first confirmed detection of oak wilt in Canada. To help prevent the spread of this detection, movement restrictions are in place on affected properties. We are working with other federal, provincial and municipal governments to survey the area and determine next steps.
What is oak wilt?
Oak wilt is a serious disease pest of oak trees and is caused by the fungus Bretziella fagacearum. It is an invasive disease of unknown origin, and it grows on the outer sapwood of all oak trees.
Sap Flow Overview
The 2023 maple season is finally over all across Ontario. Reports coming in have confirmed that folks in colder areas had below-average seasons, with some from Algoma and the northern Algonquin region making as little as 50% of an average year’s crop. Producers in the latest-producing regions are busy cleaning up.
If you’re in Algoma or Eastern, please fill out the sap flow survey by noon tomorrow (Wednesday) if you wish to contribute to the weekly report. I would love to hear from you even if you have already pulled your taps. Everyone else is of course still welcome to fill out the survey or share any interesting findings from their year. You can also text or email me with updates at:
Mobile: 519 835 5872
Sap Flow Overview
As of this report, the maple season has come to an end for everyone but some folks in Ottawa Valley and Algoma region. Most folks were done by mid-week last week, and some were able to hold out until the end. The prolonged and unusual hot weather melted significant snowpacks and caused both hard and soft maple across the province to bud out.
The end of maple season is nigh! Please fill out the sap flow survey by noon tomorrow (Wednesday) if you wish to contribute to the weekly report. I would love to hear from you even if you have already pulled your taps. Reports on ice storm damage are also welcome. You can also text or email me with updates at:
Mobile: 519 835 5872
Sap Flow Overview
The unexpected warm weather of this week signals the abrupt end of the sugaring season for many in the province. Some folks in the colder regions are holding out until the weekend, but sap has definitively stopped flowing for those in many parts of Southern and Central Ontario. Yields range from excellent in Southwestern, below average/pending for Northern and Eastern Ontario, and average for everyone else.
It’s been a tough year weather-wise for many out in Eastern and Northern Ontario. Sugarbushes went from being frozen solid to thawing in 10-20 degree Celcius spring weather (with no freezing nights) in the matter of one or two weeks. The ice storm came at the most inopportune time for those in Eastern, coinciding with the largest runs of the season. Some producers have reported extensive woodlot damage that in some cases ended their seasons early.
Sap Flow Overview
Another week has come and gone, and the difference between the syrup yield of the southernmost and northernmost regions is increasing. Most of southwest appears to have pulled taps and are enjoying having made a bumper crop, while up in Algoma folks are reporting being 1-2 weeks behind a regular season with many yet to have significant boils.