April 7, 2021 Maple Syrup Production Report

Sap Flow Overview

The 2021 maple syrup season is officially over. Unusually, most of the province ended around the same time, with the last producers finishing up yesterday. Many will be busy cleaning equipment this week. Producers were saying that this year was the toughest year on record, with the exception of 2012. Several remarked on the unusual dryness of their sugar bushes.

Sap sugar content was lower than average throughout the season, leading to some producers running sap multiple times through the RO, and evaporators working overtime.

Buddy syrup did show up, but for the majority of producers who were able to continue through to this week, it seemed to be continuous warm weather stopping sap flow that ended many production seasons, rather than buddy flavour.

News from Quebec is that their maple season is still ongoing, but a shorter season is expected especially in the south end of the province. Like Ontario, they also seem to be experiencing abnormally low sap Brix, and will likely not have another bumper year like 2020.

In terms of marketing and pricing strategies, most Ontario producers will not be making changes to their historical pricing. However, some will be raising prices slightly, especially those whose prices have remained the same for years. Some smaller producers have already sold their entire stock. Few will have enough to sell to packers this year in favour of keeping enough on hand for their regular customers.

Southwest Region

Producers here ended their maple seasons last week.

Waterloo-Wellington Region

Producers in south-central areas had a small sap run last Wednesday from the early freeze, but none following that, and so were unable to boil. Some producers further north had more luck, with a good run over the weekend and on Monday. Sap was a little cloudy but otherwise had no off-flavours, and dark syrup was made.

Grey-Bruce Region

Producers ended up making 70-100% of their annual crop. There was some golden, mostly amber, and some dark. Few filtration problems were reported. Sap runs in the last week were smaller than producers hoped for, but flavour was still good throughout. The sweetness ranged from 1-3 Brix, with most people clustered from 1-1.5.

Central Region 

The final sap run of the season happened early this week for producers who were able to keep going. Some folks in Simcoe, northern Quinte and Kawartha are bottling today.

In northern Quinte, the final sap run was still mostly clear, and sugar sweetness ranged from 1.8-3 Brix. Syrup colour grade was mostly dark, with some very dark.

Around Kawartha, some made dark syrup while others made a light amber. Sap sugar content was lower than usual throughout.

Producers report finishing by making 60-90% of their crop in an average year.

Eastern Region and Ottawa Valley

Producers here finished up on Sunday through Tuesday. The sap was still clear in most places, but was starting to get milky in others. Brix ranged from 1.5 to 2. Syrup colour ranged from amber to very dark, and the flavour was very good.

Producers made about 50-60% of what they had made in previous years.

Algonquin Region

Yesterday was the last day of sap flow, and some producers are finishing up boiling tonight. Some producers had 2 very large runs last week, resulting in some 16+ hour days of boiling! The final sap Brix content was 1.6-2, clear, and boiled down to amber to dark syrup.

Producers reported that off-flavours were beginning to come through by the end of the day yesterday. Producers ended up making about 60% of their annual crop.

Algoma Region

The season is over in our northernmost districts as well. Like in Algonquin, the last producers finished yesterday or the day before. The sap was cloudy but did not boil down to buddy syrup. Most producers made amber to dark syrup with sap that had a sugar content of 1.5-2 Brix. However, some outlying producers reported making the lightest syrup they’ve ever made, which worked well for their value-added maple products.

Producers made 50-70% of their average season.

Cleaning Collection Equipment

Timely cleaning will save producers much headache. Sugar that is left on equipment will harden into a concrete that is attractive for mould and bacteria. Click here for an article on cleaning your lines and buckets.

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to these reports throughout the season, who welcomed me to their operations and who answered my questions. I will be updating the site throughout the next year with more maple articles in preparation for 2022. As always, feel free to get in touch in the comments or over email (jenny.liu2@ontario.ca). I am always happy to get reports on anything related to maple (or tree nuts, or shelterbelts/riparian areas/trees on farms). Have a safe and happy off-season, and hopefully we can meet in person soon!

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UPDATED: Information on the End of the Season

[note the updated instructions for removing buddy flavour]

This short season will be coming to a close soon for even our northern producers. Check out some new information pages available on the following end-of-season topics:

Buddy Syrup

Includes what buddy is, what causes it, and the results of some interesting research that could help you get rid of buddy syrup even after you’ve made it.

Before 2020, there has been no way to get rid of the buddy flavour in finished maple syrup. However, researchers at Centre ACER in Québec may have found a method. Before attempting it, remember that this is still new research and there is no guarantee that it will work for you. Make sure to try it on a small scale, such as in a 5L quantity, before expending too much time, fuel, and resources.

Here are the instructions if you’d like to try it for yourself:

  • Boil 5L of buddy maple syrup for 2 hours at 104.5°C
  • Continually add ultrapure or RO permeate water at a rate of approximately 76mL/minute to keep the boiling point and syrup concentration constant. It is better to maintain syrup at slightly higher Brix (above 66 but below 68.9) to prevent mould formation.
  • Taste the syrup at the 60-minute mark; syrups with less buddy flavour may not need the full 2-hour treatment
  • Store treated syrup for 12 months before re-taste-testing, in case the buddy flavour compounds re-form

Again remember that there is no guarantee that this method will work for you. However, I would be interested to hear if anybody tries it! You can email me (jenny.liu2@ontario.ca) with any findings.

Method adapted from Camara et al. 2019.

Cleaning Collection Equipment

Includes information on cleaning, sanitizing, and rinsing bucket and tubing systems (both gravity and vacuum). Syrup producers are tired after a trying season, but timely cleanup will be well worth your efforts.

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March 30, 2021 Ontario Maple Syrup Production Report

Sap Flow Overview

The weather has taken a turn for the warmer in the last week, and across the province nighttime temperatures are forecasted to be above freezing for next week. Many producers are seeing this as signaling the end of this year’s short maple season.

While 2020 was an excellent year for maple syrup, with a few exceptions, 2021 saw decreased syrup production across the province. The size of this decrease varies as producers are reporting anywhere from 10-80% less syrup than last year.

This week, many producers reiterated that their crop was darker than previous years. Some also reported the worst sugar sand/niter and filtering issues that they have seen in a long time, but others have had average sugar sand and some even produced the clearest syrup they have ever made. Sap sugar content has dropped in the past week for most, but syrup flavour is still good to excellent throughout.

In terms of markets, some producers expressed concern that they would have trouble selling their large quantities of dark syrup. Other producers are concerned that they will not have enough syrup to fill the demands of their regular customers, as most have low, if any, inventory left over from last year. It will be interesting to see if this year’s supply affects bulk prices.

Southwest Region

The majority of producers here have ended their maple seasons.

Waterloo-Wellington Region

On average, producers have made between 50-75% of their crop. Some outliers made less than 30% before needing to stop for the season.

Toward the north of the region, soft maples are budding and have been shut down, but hard maples are still running with relatively clear sap. Producers took advantage of the warm weather last week to clean out pipes and equipment in anticipation of one or two final runs toward the end of this week.

Grey-Bruce Region

Producers report having made 50-80% of their crop. Some ended their seasons last week, and many others are expecting it to end very soon with a reduced crop. The size of sap runs last week ranged from partial to very large. Sap sweetness ranged from 1.3-2%. Most sap still appears to be clear, with a few reports of cloudiness in the last couple of runs.

Most are making majority amber syrup, with good to excellent flavour and few filtration problems.

Some producers used the warm weather to flush out sap collection tubing and equipment in the hopes that cooler weather would renew sap runs.

Central Region  

Producers in Quinte, and Lanark report making between 50-80% of their full crop. This week has brought good runs, though some are anticipating that this will be the final push before the season ends. Sap ranges from clear to slightly cloudy, but no microbial taste.

Buddy syrup has been detected in several operations in southern Kawartha. Some producers are halting production having made 60-70% of the crop of an average year.

Eastern Region and Ottawa Valley

Producers have made 25-60% of their annual production. Sap is still clear and syrup colour is mostly dark, with some amber and some very dark. The general consensus is to continue production for as long as possible, as temperatures are fairly promising this coming week. However, once things warm up the week after, producers said that they will likely stop.

Algonquin Region

Crop production reports vary, with some producers having made 30% of their annual production while others expect to be up to 75% by the end of today. The last week saw very good sap flow, though volumes were below average for this point in the season. Sap sugar content is low in this flow as well, and syrup colour is amber to very dark.

Algoma Region

Producers report making 20-50% of their annual crop; some are on schedule while others are producing much less than in previous years. Sugar content still seems to be holding steady. Sap runs have been quite small and sporadic compared to previous years. Sap is still clear, and syrup colour is mostly amber with some dark.

Why does syrup change colour during the season?

The short answer is – friendly microbes. Most producers expect syrup to be lighter at the beginning of the season and darken toward the end. However, as was demonstrated this year, sometimes syrup colour changes even in-season. This is due to the microbes changing the types of sugars in the sap.

The sugar in maple sap is mostly sucrose. Microbes feed on the sucrose and turn it into fructose and glucose.

During boiling, fructose and glucose are much more reactive with other elements in the sap, leading to colour and flavour development. In contrast, sucrose undergoes very little colour and flavour change when boiled, and will remain simple and sweet unless boiled for too long. We have these microbes to thank for complex maple flavour!

Lighter syrup will thus be produced when microbe numbers are reduced. Conditions causing lighter syrup include:

  • Cleaned equipment
  • Clean sap that is filtered immediately after collection
  • Sudden cold temperatures that can kill a number of microbes
  • Cold temperatures that keep the number of microbes low
  • High sap flows whose volumes move too quickly for microbes to transform a significant portion of the sugars

Many producers made darker syrup this year. This may be a result of the unusual warm weather in many parts of the province giving microbes an earlier start than usual.

If you wish to contribute updates, please get in touch:

Jenny Liu
jenny.liu2@ontario.ca
519 835 5872
Or comment on the post

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March 24, 2021 Ontario Maple Syrup Production Report

Sap Flow Overview

March is marching along, and this season has brought its share of too-cold and too-warm weather. After a week and a half of good sap conditions, the past few days have been too warm for sap to flow in most of the province. This has led producers throughout the South to finish syrup production for the season. Producers who are still boiling are hoping that the colder weather starting this weekend will kick-start the sap again.

Most producers in the South have reported amber and dark syrup making an earlier appearance, though some reported making record light syrup. A larger proportion of the crop was also darker compared to previous years.

Producers throughout the South and Central regions are concerned that the season will be over in the next week or so. Nighttime temperatures will only intermittently dip below freezing, and daytimes will be warm.

Up north, snowcover is still good and producers expect to have a few more weeks of sap weather, but syrup quantity is behind last year. In general, syrup production is down across the province.

Flavour and quality remain very good throughout.

Southwest Region

In the Southwest region, many producers have finished making their syrup for the season. Some on vacuum reported crops of 1.5-1.6L per tap, either on par or less than last year. Most averaged 1-1.5L, but some toward Exeter and Bayfield are at less than 75% of total crop produced.

On Monday March 22, sap production was still reported to be clear for hard maple, and getting cloudy for soft but with no off-flavours.

Waterloo-Wellington Region

There were some good runs in this area earlier in the season but things have slowed down this week due to the warmer weather. Producers report making 50-75% of their annual crop, based on 1L/tap.

The 14-day forecast shows intermittent nights below freezing, and producers are hoping that more sap will run before the buddy flavour appears.

Grey-Bruce Region

Producers near the south end of the region report that their season is likely over, depending on if trees bud in the coming warm spell. The season was short this year, with large sap runs delayed until last week. However, producers near Owen Sound are optimistic that the oncoming colder days will hold off the budding and bring more sap. There is no bud swell yet in the north end.

Producers have made about 50% of their crop. The grade is darker in colour than last year, but the quality and taste are good.

Central and Eastern Regions

In and around Lanark, producers have made 30-50% of the crop. The snow is almost gone in some places, while some still have snowcover on about 50% of the bush. The bulk of this was made in the last week. Cold nighttime temperatures starting on Friday have producers hopeful that next week will bring good runs. Most people have been making golden and amber syrup, and the sap is still clear. There is no sign of budding.

In the Kawartha region, there was great sap flow this past weekend with 3-4 gallons of sap per tap over a few days. Growers are concerned that the season may end this week, and have reported only making about 50% of their crop.

In Prince Edward County, some bucket operations have finished producing for the season.

Algonquin and Northern Algoma Regions

Producers in these regions report making about 20% of their annual production, but some report being behind last year. Syrup colour is ranging from golden to amber.

There is still lots of snow on the ground. Producers are expecting good maple weather over the next two weeks.

Buddy Syrup

Sap collection is finished for the year when dormant buds on maple trees begin to swell and break dormancy. The primary reason we stop collecting sap is due to the change in the chemical makeup of sap, which will cause off-flavours to develop in syrup that is processed using buddy sap.

As buds begin to swell, metabolic activities initiate things like leaf expansion, stem elongation and the emergence of flowers that will soon be ready for pollination.  It involves consumption of sugar energy that is stored in the tree as starch, production of growth hormones involved in cell division and cell expansion, and production of other chemical by-products of growth. Basically, the new springtime ingredients flowing in sap are no longer suitable for maple syrup production.

Trees develop with the weather, so buddy sap occurs at different rates every year depending on how warm it gets.

Four photos of sugar maple buds in a progression of development. A pencil and a ruler are provided for scale; the maple bud starts out the size of the graphite pencil tip and grows to twice the size by the last photo. An arrow under the photos says "good sap" under the small bud and "buddy sap" between the second and third photos.

Food Safety

Check out the new pages on Food Safety, featuring information in the following categories:

If you wish to contribute updates, please get in touch:

Jenny Liu
jenny.liu2@ontario.ca
519 835 5872
Or comment on the post

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Ontario Maple Syrup Production Report for March 10, 2021

Overview

Sap is running! Tapping has been completed throughout most of the province. Producers in the south have already had several boils. Producers further north have also had their first sap runs this week due to the unseasonably warm temperatures of the last few days. Sap flow will likely slow again as temperatures drop next week.

This year, there are widespread concerns about gypsy moth. Keep an eye out for brown masses the size of a toonie on your tree bark.

Some larger producers will be contracting aerial sprayers to deal with the larvae after hatching. Some with smaller acreages are scraping off egg masses with pocket knives while out fixing leaks and tapping. Drop these egg masses into soapy water for a few days to kill the caterpillars, then discard them.

Many producers use the first sap flow of the season to rinse out their lines and make sure they are clean for the oncoming runs. Click here for more information.

Southwest Region

The last growers finished tapping last week, and many were boiling by the last week of February. Growers have processed from 50-75% of the expected crop, based on 1L of finished syrup per tap.

Sugar content is variable and ranges from 1.8 to 2.6 Brix. Golden and light amber syrup are being made, with good flavour.

Waterloo-Wellington Region

Producers have finished tapping, and some have had multiple boils while some are hoping to for a first boil today or in the next few days. The first run of sap has come and gone and been used to flush out the lines. Some producers found higher sap Brix than usual, and most syrup made was golden.

Grey-Bruce Region

Growers report making approximately 5% of their full crop by the end of last week. All syrup was golden. After the initial flush, sap has been clear and runs range from partial to full. Sap sweetness in the last two weeks has hovered around 2 Brix. 

Central and Eastern Regions

In some regions, first sap flow occurring a little over a week ago, with some producers reporting 5 or 6 runs and larger runs this week. Other producers just had their first runs today, and are hoping to boil today or tomorrow. Sap sweetness has been reported at 2.4 Brix.

Algonquin Region

Most producers in the region have completed tapping. Sap started running yesterday for some. There have been no boils yet, but producers are hoping to begin today or tomorrow.

Northern Algoma

Producers completed tapping this week and are waiting for the first run. While the next two days will be warm, daytime temperatures are expected to drop below freezing in the next few weeks.

If you wish to contribute to these updates, please get in touch:

Jenny Liu
jenny.liu2@ontario.ca
519 835 5872
Or comment on the post

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COVID Resource Updates and Sugarbush Management Videos

New COVID Resources

UPDATE on the Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program – the deadline to submit eligible expenses has been extended to March 12, 2021.

Click to go to the new COVID Resources page, which is chock full of videos and funding opportunities.

Video Tutorials

The most important thing is the long-term health of your sugar bush, orchard, or plantation. Luckily, the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association has produced several excellent videos.

So, as the influencers say, Click, Like and Share!

Sugar Bush Management Tutorial

Learn how to:
-identify vigorous trees
-identify trees that can be removed
-minimize damage when thinning
-minimize equipment damage

Afforestation/Thinning Tutorial

Learn about:
-what afforestation is
-when to thin
-deciding which trees to thin
-effects of thinning

Plantation Development and Management

Learn how to:
-set up a plantation step-by-step
-identify saplings that will grow into a good sugaring tree
-manage pests
-prune trees
-deal with double stems

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Ontario Maple Syrup Production Report, Feb 24, 2021

Re-posting as the subscription email did not go out.

Welcome to the first instalment of the 2021 Ontario Maple Syrup Production Report! I aim to post every 2 weeks during the season with status updates of maple productions around the province.

If you wish to contribute, feel free to get in touch with me:
jenny.liu2@ontario.ca
519 835 5872
Or comment on the post

Also check out the new section on Tapping 101 in the menu above, featuring information in the following categories:

  1. Tree Health
  2. Number of Taps Per Tree
  3. How to Time Tapping
  4. Where to Tap
  5. How to Tap
  6. Tapping Equipment – coming soon

Overview

Larger growers all over the province began tapping a few weeks ago, some starting as early as January. Preparations are under way inside sugar shacks in operations of all sizes, with equipment being cleaned and calibrated. Fairly deep snow has been reported all over the province and producers are strapping on snowshoes to check their lines.

Despite COVID taking away important markets for certain producers in 2020, many reported an upsurge in sales as consumers turned to buying local. Some producers had to sell in bulk.

If you’re a smaller producer, or a larger producer with lots of people power, it is best to wait until low nighttime temperatures reach -8 to -5⁰C for a few days. Otherwise, you run the risk of the bark splitting during tapping, which causes issues with tree health and vacuum sealing.

A tree trunk with a large vertical split in it above and below a taphole.

If you’re new to tapping, the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association (OMSPA) has published a series of excellent videos. Click below to watch and don’t forget to leave a “like”!

Southwest Region

Monday was the first day of tapping for some producers in the region, and will continue throughout the week in anticipation for the first sap run.

This region experienced a wet winter, and we expect trees to produce well this coming spring due to the excess soil moisture.

Wellington Waterloo Region

Temperatures warmed up over the weekend and the 14-day forecast has the next two weeks looking good for sap flow. Producers will be out tapping this week.

Grey-Bruce Region

Though temperatures are hovering around the freezing point, cool wind and snow mean that small to medium-sized producers will likely not be tapping this week. Folks in the area have been out checking lines and making repairs in hopes to begin tapping next week.

Central and Eastern Regions

Producers in this area had quite a lot of snow, but some completed tapping this past weekend. Others plan to complete tapping by this week.

Eastern Ontario had a drought for approximately 4-5 weeks last summer, but no lasting concerns. Many in Eastern Ontario also sold out of syrup last year.

Algonquin Region

Producers in this region normally does not begin tapping until the beginning of March, though larger producers have begun. Snow is very deep in this area.

In terms of sugarbush health, this region had a dry spell last summer after a bumper crop of sap in spring. However, fall was quite wet and there are few concerns.

Northern Algoma

Similar to other areas, the large producers are currently tapping, but smaller producers will likely wait until March. Snow is expected this week.

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Current COVID Funding Programs and Other Resources

Maple season is around the corner, and I hope everyone has been keeping well!

I’ve been hearing from producers that they are having difficulty finding and applying for COVID financial supports. Below is a (long, but not comprehensive) list of currently-available programs that cover funding, insurance and lending, and worker benefits. There is also some information on labour and COVID workplace safety. The list will be continually updated – please let me know of other initiatives you think should be included.

In the next blog post, I will be summarizing some of the excellent information Todd Leuty put out over the years on when and how to tap. Stay tuned!

Table of Contents/Quick Links

  1. Funding Programs
  2. Insurance and Lending Programs
  3. Worker Benefits Programs
  4. Resources for Workplace Safety

Funding

Enhanced Agri-Food Worker Protection Program

Deadline: February 26, 2021

Summary:

The program provides funding in the following categories:

  • Preventative occupational health and safety measures
    • Example purchases: PPE, medical testing equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection
    • 70% of eligible expenses, up to $15,000
  • On-Farm Worker Safety Improvement Program
    • Example purchases: housing modifications, workspace adjustments, equipment to allow greater physical distancing for workers
    • 70% of eligible expenses, up to $100,000

A recorded webinar explaining the program and application will be uploaded to this website: https://www.ofvc.ca/videos.html

Eligibility:

  • Cost must have been incurred on or after March 15, 2020
  • Ontario farm business under a valid Farm Business Registration Number or allowable exemption

How to apply:

Ontario Small Business Support Grant

Deadline: Not defined, applications currently open

Summary:

Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant provides businesses with funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown effective December 26, 2020.

Eligibility:

  • be required to close or restrict services subject to the Provincewide Shutdown effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26
  • have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level
  • have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline comparing April 2020 to April 2019 revenues. New businesses established since April 2019 are also eligible provided they meet the other eligibility criteria

How to apply:

Ontario’s Main Street Relief Grant: PPE support

Deadline: ongoing

Summary:

Eligible small businesses will get one-time grants of up to $1,000 to cover unexpected PPE costs.

Eligibility:

  • Be in the following sectors:
    • Retail
    • Accommodation and food services
    • Repair and maintenance
  • Have 2-9 employees

How to apply:

Property tax and energy cost rebates

Deadline: ongoing

Summary:

  • For businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures. Eligible businesses could get rebates for:
    • municipal and education property taxes
    • energy costs, including electricity and natural gas (or where natural gas is not available, propane and heating oil)
  • Funding will cover the entire length of time that regionally targeted public health restrictions are in place.
  • Most businesses can expect to receive their rebate payments within a few weeks of submitting a complete application.

Eligibility:

See the list here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs#section-2

How to apply:

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

Summary:

  • The fund will help to mitigate the financial pressure experienced by businesses and organizations to allow them to continue their operations, including paying their employees
  • The fund will help support projects by businesses, organizations and communities to prepare now for a successful recovery
  • Businesses that are already receiving support from the RRRF could now receive up to $20,000 in additional funding if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility and how to apply:

Contact your local regional development agency or see the websites below.

Insurance and Lending

Advanced Payments Program

  • A federal loan guarantee program that helps producers meet their financial obligations and benefit from the best market conditions by improving their cash flow throughout the year
  • Provides up to $400 000 advance with the first $100 000 interest free and the following $300 000 at prime interest rate

For maple syrup:

  • Advance rate: $2.14/lb
  • Advance available date: April 1, 2021 – March 15, 2022
  • Repayment deadline: September 30, 2022 or December 31, 2021 if NOT stored

Click here fore a link to the 2021-2022 Product Rate List and Worksheets for Ontario

Agristability

  • AgriStability is one of the business risk management programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. It protects Canadian producers against large declines in farming income for reasons such as production loss, increased costs and market conditions.
  • AgriStability is a margin-based program designed to help producers manage large income declines.
  • Each year, you must enrol in the program, pay your fee and submit a form by the applicable deadlines.
  • You may receive a payment if your production margin in the current year falls below your historical reference margin by more than 30%.
  • Use the AgriStability Benefit Estimator to help you understand how the program works and to calculate an estimated benefit.
  • In Ontario, AgriStability is delivered by Agricorp. Click the link above for more information.

Farm Credit Canada Covid-19 support program

FCC is a lending organization. They do not provide grants or interest-free loans. Normal lending due diligence will be taken on all applications.

  • FCC has put in place:
    • a deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans; or
    • a deferral of principal payments up to 12 months
    • term loans up to $2.5M, with no fees and an 18-month interest-only option available over a 10-year amortization. These funds can be used for working capital and to modify production due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Canada’s Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

Deadline: June 2021

  • For small and medium-sized businesses
  • Covers payroll and operating costs caused by current economic situation
  • Repay over 5 years, with 6 month principal payment postponement

Worker Benefits

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

  • The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.
  • If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period.
  • If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again.
  • You may apply up to a total of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

  • The CRCB is for care givers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because of care giving responsibilities
  • $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household between now and September 25, 2021
  • If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again

More Resources

How to Cohort During an Outbreak of COVID-19 in a Congregate Living Setting

Food manufacturing and processing health and safety during COVID-19

Develop your COVID-19 workplace safety plan

Labour/Workplace Safety Webinars

FEBRUARY 10, 2021 | 12 pm – 1 pm
WSIB and COVID-19: Here to Help in the Event of an Outbreak
Speaker: Kendra Holliday-Bryant, WSIB

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board understands that a COVID-19 outbreak can be an overwhelming experience for an agricultural business during these changing times. The WSIB is here to help. Please join Kendra Holliday-Bryant, Stakeholder Relations Manager for a session on how WSIB is able to work with you should you experience an outbreak. She will cover topics on reporting obligations, foreign agricultural worker policy, wage reimbursement, and the single point of contact process. The WSIB’s goal when an outbreak occurs is to get you back to what is important to you, running your business.
Live event. Advance registration required.
Click here to register
 
FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | 12 pm – 1 pm
Access to Labour in 2021: Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program &  HR Resources for Farm Employers
Speakers: Ken Forth, FARMS/LICC;  Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, CAHRC
Live event. Advance registration required. 
Click here to register

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Hello from the new maple specialist!

Hello everyone!

My name is Jenny Liu and I’m the new Maple, Tree Nut, and Agroforestry Specialist at OMAFRA.

As many of you know, Todd Leuty retired in September last year after over two decades of dedicated public service. He certainly left behind some enormous shoes to fill!

A bit about me – I completed my forestry undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia, where I worked in forest management, dendroecology, and forest pest research. I then set my sights on agriculture, earning my Master’s in agricultural entomology at the University of Guelph. I am also a Certified Crop Advisor Candidate with agronomy experience in both Ontario’s field and horticultural crop sectors. My hobbies include hiking, mooning over houseplants, and designing ambitious crochet/knitting projects that I slowly follow through with. It is really a dream role for me to learn about how trees grow and to share that knowledge.

On this blog, I will continue communicating new research, funding opportunities, emerging issues, and of course the Ontario Maple Syrup Production Report. Let me know if there is something you’d like to see covered in a blog post!

Please feel free to get in touch –
Phone: 519-835-5872
Email: jenny.liu2@ontario.ca
Under non-COVID circumstances: 1 Stone Road West, Guelph, ON  N1G 4Y2

Nice to meet you, and talk to you soon!

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Ontario Maple Syrup Production Report May 29, 2020

BANNER Year For Gypsy Moth Larvae!

Jen is Nursery Crops Specialist, OMAFRA and works with commercial tree nurseries and landscape industries.

Seeing holes in newly emerged leaves but all you can find are dark, fuzzy little caterpillars?  Gypsy moth larvae have dispersed and begun to feed on trees and shrubs.  Look for holes in leaves and turn over to inspect leaf undersides for tiny larvae.  We often see both Gypsy moth larvae and cankerworm larvae feeding on the same leaves.  Their favorite hosts seem to be species of Quercus (Oaks), Acer (Maple), Fagus (Beech), Tilia (Linden), Betula (Birch) and they can even be found on Picea pungens (Colorado blue spruce). Continue reading

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