Sap Flow Overview
Cold weather slowed sap flow for most of last week, but over the weekend it warmed up sufficiently for producers to collect a decent quantity of sap even in the colder regions of the province. As was the case last week, some producers in the south have reached 100% of an average year’s crop while much of the rest of the province remains frozen. More cold weather is in the forecast for the next few weeks.
Thanks to all who contributed their observations this week. I will send out another reminder to fill in the survey next Monday.
For the sap flow report below, find your region here.
Folks in southwestern had decent to good sap flows this past week, with colder weather slowing things down in the last few days. Brix for hard maple ranged from 2-2.2, and one producer reported soft maple Brix at 1.6. Mostly amber, a little golden and some dark syrup is being made, with great to excellent flavour for most but one person reporting mild flavours. No filtration issues. Producers have made 50 to about 90% of an average year’s crop, but two respondents have made 130 and 160%. Folks are planning to use the incoming cold weather of the next week to get everything cleaned up and ready for the last runs of March.
Sap flows in this region started more slowly at the beginning of the week but were good to excellent over the weekend. One producer reported 5L of sap/tap per day. Brix ranges from 1.8 to 2.9, and mostly amber syrup (some golden) is being made. Flavour is reported to be excellent across the board. Only one producer is reporting heavy sugar sand and the need to clean pans often. Most folks fall between the range of having produced 25-75% of an average year’s crop, with one outlying producer having made 135%. Another producer reported that it was the best February for yields that they have experienced.
Grey-Bruce & District
More folks in this area are making progress on their tapping, but the recent snowfall of this week is hindering others. One producer is reporting a good snowpack in the woods still and clear sap. Reports on sap flow ranged from no sap collected due to the weather to moderate runs this past weekend. Sap Brix ranges from 1.9-2.4, and golden and amber syrup are being made. Flavour is good, with no filtration issues reported. Most producers have made 20-30% of an average year’s crop.
Simcoe & District
Producers in this area experienced good sap flows over the weekend and into today. Producers on vacuum measured flows of 2-2.7L/tap/day. Only two reports of sap Brix came in, both 2.2. Producers are making golden, amber, and dark syrup and flavour is very good. Sap has been very clear due to the cold weather. A few producers are reporting high niter, and one producer is having lots of trouble filtering due to the sugar sand. Producers have made 5%-60% of an average year’s crop.
Sap flow in this area was light in the past week. Some folks have not yet tapped, and some are in the process of tapping this week. No reports on sap Brix or syrup grade came in this week.
Lanark & District
Reports from producers in this district ranged from a few with no sap flow, some with medium runs and one producer who experienced excellent runs over the weekend. Some are planning to tap this coming week. Sap Brix ranges from 2 to 2.9, and one producer is making amber syrup with good flavour. Producers over 1000 taps have made from 3-25% of an average year’s crop, while reports from smaller producers indicate that few have begun boiling.
Folks who were already tapped in experienced small runs this past weekend and Monday, which some used to clear out their lines. Some producers finished tapping this week and have yet to boil. One producer reports needing to shovel out their mainline after the heavy snowfall of the past weekend buried it. Brix ranged from 2-2.3, with no boils reported. Producers have made 0-3% of an average year’s crop.
Quinte & District
Sap flow was slow here until this past weekend, with Brix ranging from 2.4-2.8. Golden and amber syrup is being made with light to excellent flavour. One producer reports seeing lots of sugar sand in the pans, but most others are not having filtration issues. Folks have made 25-50% of an average year’s crop.
Ottawa Valley District
Folks who have tapped in report slow sap runs in the past week due to the significant snowfall they received last week. Two respondents measured sap Brix at 1.5. Only one respondent boiled and they made amber syrup with a strong maple flavour. A number of folks are waiting another few weeks for the weather to warm up some more. Most are yet to make syrup, but two respondents, each with under 200 taps, have made up to 10% of an average year’s yield.
Producers in this region who held out over the past little while began tapping this past week, and experienced slow to moderate flows over this time. Sap Brix ranges from 1.9-2, and only one respondent reported boiling and made dark syrup. This producer has made 10% of their average crop, whereas all other survey respondents are at 0. There is more cold weather in the forecast and several reports of an already-deep snowpack in the bush.
Algoma & District
Sap flows ranged from very low to strong flows over the weekend. Average sap brix was 2-2.5, with amber syrup being made and no filtration issues reported. Producers have made 0-10% of an average year’s crop.
Resources for backyard/hobby producers
Some comments have come in asking for more information for urban/backyard producers. The following are some excellent resources for smaller-scale operations:
Cornell Maple Program – For Beginners
PennState Extension – Maple Syrup Production for the Beginner
UVM Extension – Maple Minute Videos
Ohio State University Extension – Hobby Maple Syrup Production
As always, you can check out this blog’s info pages on Tapping 101.