Sap Flow Overview
Despite the early season, the annual south-north gradient of early to late production is still evident. Those in the south are mostly tapped and a number are actively boiling, but as we move further north sap flow slows down and though folks may be tapped in, few have had any boils. In all but the regions furthest to the south, producers are still split on tapping. Some feel that this is a false spring and are planning to tap after the cold weather of next week.
Many have expressed surprise and dismay at how early maple season has arrived this year. Some are wondering if the ideal weather for sugaring in the next few weeks will bring about a shortened season. Unfortunately, this type of unpredictable and early spring weather is likely here to stay as the effects of climate change are felt in our industry. In the coming years, producers will need to keep a keener eye on the weather and be ready to tap at earlier and earlier intervals to avoid missing the first large spring runs in case it ends up being a short season.
Thanks to all who contributed their observations this week! I will send out another reminder to fill in the survey next Monday.
For the maple syrup production report below, find your region here.
Most folks in southwestern are tapped in and have experienced heavy sap flow in the last week. One producer reported sugar content was a bit lower this last week than in the week before. Brix ranged from 1.9-3. One producer with soft maples is at 1.7 brix. Golden and amber syrup is being made, and no filtration issues reported. Producers have made from 0% to 35% of an average year’s yield.
Some folks in this region finished tapping in the week of Feb 6th, and some have yet to begin. One producer who tapped on Feb 6th has had 3 boils. A number seem to have finished in the last few days, with some using the sap to flush the lines. Modest to good runs reported, and amber to golden syrup is being made. Only one producer reported lots of fine, light-coloured sugar sand in their filtration; no one else is experiencing filtration issues. Producers have made 0 to 10% of an average year’s yield.
Grey-Bruce & District
A number of producers in this district started tapping this past weekend. Sap flows ranged from moderate to good. Others are still holding out. No reports on Brix or syrup grade yet. Producers have made 0% of an average year’s crop. There’s concern here as well that there is no frost on the ground.
Some producers started tapping this past weekend, with some finishing up yesterday or today. Those who tapped earlier are reporting consistent and good flow (2L to over 3L/tap) in the past week, with Brix of 1.7-2.1. Most have not boiled yet, but one larger producer reports making golden syrup with excellent flavour. This producer also reported extreme foam in the evaporator on the first boil, and an unusual rusty colour showing up in both the concentrate and the syrup. They have made about 10% of an average year’s crop, while most others are still at 0%.
The majority of folks in this region have not tapped yet, but a handful started in the latter half of last week into this weekend. Some regions and those with bushes in colder locations still have a decent snowpack. Those who are tapped reported sap flowing well, with one producer reporting over 2.2L/tap in one day. Brix ranged from 1.2 to 2.5. Only one report of golden syrup came in; the majority of folks are not yet boiling. This producer has made about 30% of an average year’s crop.
Lanark & District
A number of producers in Lanark are partway through tapping. Sap was running well this past weekend. Only one report of sap Brix came in, at 1.6, and no reports of syrup grade yet. One producer reported over half the snow being gone from their bush.
Some producers began tapping this past weekend, while others are still holding out. No further information on sap flow or boiling have been reported.
Quinte & District
Most folks in Quinte have tapped or are tapping now, though some are waiting. Sap flow has been good, and above average according to one producer on buckets. This producer reported a Brix of 2.2. No information on syrup grades yet.
Ottawa Valley District
All reports received from this district indicate that producers are waiting.
Some producers in this region have begun tapping. Most are experiencing slow flows, with one producer on buckets experiencing a moderate flow. Only one Brix measurement of 4.0 was reported. Information on syrup grades and boiling are not yet available.
Algoma & District
Only the largest producers in this region have begun tapping.