Sap Flow Overview
This past week’s weather was similar to last week, with warmer temperatures resulting in good runs for those in the south. More folks up north are getting tapped in as well. However, a significant number are choosing to wait as we head into a two-week freeze that will affect most of the province save for those in the furthest south.
South of the border, Ohio producers are starting to see their soft maples budding and tapholes beginning to dry, though their sugar maple buds remain tight. Some are doubting that their syrup season will extend to March 1 (subscribe to Ohio State Maple extension here). For what it’s worth, I have not received reports of anyone in southern Ontario regretting tapping early.
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.
Sap flow reports varied, with one person reporting some of the best runs in the past few years in the last week, while another said that runs were light. Brix ranged from 1.7-2, and golden, amber, and dark syrup were all made. One producer made some off-flavour golden syrup, but for the most part flavour is great. Lots of sugar sand reported but it seems fairly easy to filter for now. Producers have made from 45%-80% of their crop.
Sap flow has been reported as moderate to good in the past week. Local representatives estimate about 90% of producers on lines are tapped in, but more on buckets are waiting. Brix ranges from 1.4-2 and golden and amber syrup are being made. Flavour is good and with the exception of one producer who reported lots of sugar sand, most others have not had filtration issues. Producers have made 15-50% of an average year’s crop.
Grey-Bruce & District
Most folks in this area are tapped and had their first few boils in the last week. Sap flows in the last week were sporadic to good. Sugar content ranges from 1.8-2.6 Brix. Most people are making golden syrup, some are making amber. Flavour is good and no off flavours experienced. No filtration issues. Producers who are tapped have made 10%-40% of an average year’s crop.
Simcoe & District
Most folks here seem to be tapped in and have experienced good to great sap flows in the last few days. One producer reported collecting just under 9.5L of sap per tap over the week, and another just over 11L of sap per tap in 2 days. Brix ranges from 1.9-2.1, and syrup is mostly amber with some golden, with good flavour. Filtration accounts range from no issues, to moderate niter, to extremely large amounts of niter that is slowing down filtering. Producers have made 25%-44% of an average year’s crop.
A number of folks here are still untapped and are waiting for the cold snap of the next two weeks to clear up. Many are still partially tapped and some have yet to have their first boil. Those who are tapped reported good to great sap flow, ranting from 1.25L/tap/day to 2.7L/tap/day. Brix ranges from 1.6-2.0, With golden and amber syrup being made. Flavour is reported as average to good, and one producer reports that sap and concentrate is the clearest they have ever seen. No filtration issues have been highlighted. Producers have made 4-25% of an average year’s syrup.
Lanark & District
A number of producers finished tapping in the last week, but many are still holding off especially if they have lots of snow left in the bush. Those who tapped experienced intermittent to good flow in the last few days but few are boiling. One producer reports collecting 2.6L sap/tap in a little over half a day. Only one sap sugar measurement came in of 2.1 Brix. Amber syrup is being made, with good flavour and easy filtering. Most folks have not yet boiled, but one producer made about 5% of an average year’s syrup. One producer mentions that the snowpack is about 2 feet less than this time last year.
Folks in this region seem to be mostly tapped in or began tapping in the last week. Some are still holding out and keeping a close eye on how this next cold snap will behave. Average to good sap flow reported, and Brix ranges from 2.0-2.2. Amber syrup is being made, with good to very good flavours and no filtration issues. One producer reported lots of squirrel damage since being tapped in and are needing to continually repair the damage. Producers have made 3-5% of an average year’s syrup.
Quinte & District
Most producers have begun tapping or are fully tapped in this area, but some small producers are choosing to only tap a portion of their trees to hedge their bets. Sap flow ranges from moderate to very good, especially near the start of the last week. One producer on gravity lines reported just over 3.75L/tap/day! Sap Brix ranges from 2 to 2.9. Golden and amber syrup are being made, with most reporting a light/delicate flavour that will be good for confectionery. Most producers are not experiencing filtration issues, but one is reporting significantly more niter than usual. Larger producers (over 1500 taps) have made 1% to 12% of an average year’s crop, and small producers (200 taps and under) have made up to 25%.
Ottawa Valley District
Most reports from this region indicate that producers will wait to tap until the cold weather of the next two weeks breaks. One small producer who has tapped experienced great sap flow (2L sap/tap overnight) despite the lower temperatures.
Producers here report either not having tapped yet or being only partially tapped in and not collecting. Only one measurement of sap Brix has come in at 3.5, with dark syrup being made and no filtration issues. This small producer has made 10% of an average year’s crop.
Algoma & District
Some medium sized producers (3000+ taps) in this region have finished tapping, though some are still experiencing cold weather and don’t expect a decent sapflow event until March. One producer collected a good run of sap on Feb 14th (3.8L/tap). This producer reported sap sugar content of 2.5 Brix, making amber and dark syrup. The dark syrup had a strong taste and lots of niter. This producer has made about 1% of an average year’s crop.
New Quebec Maple Syrup Pricing
Quebec has raised their bulk syrup buying prices from last year and implemented both stronger penalties and incentives. This will most likely affect Ontario’s own bulk pricing. Details are below:
2023 – 20c/lb increase for all grades EXCEPT very dark with a light transmission of less than 7%
2024 – 9c/lb increase from 2023 for the same grades
Weight compensation for product when it has density over 66°Brix. From 66-67°Brix: producers will get 0.15% more per 0.1°Brix that their syrup is over 66°Brix. The compensation would max out at 67°, and remain the same from 67°-68.999° Brix.
Maple syrup with a density of 65.7° to 65.9°Brix would be subject to a penalty of 10 cents/pound.
The penalty for class VR1, VR11, VR12 and VR2 maple syrups would increase from 10 to 15 cents/pound.
The penalty for VR13, VR14, VR4, VR41, VR42, VR43 would be increased from 25 to 50 cents/pound.
Source (in french): PPAQ