April 5, 2023 Sap Flow Report

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.

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.

Southwestern (3 respondents)

Producers in this area experienced zero to excellent flows in the last week, but all respondents have finished boiling as of this report. Sap brix ranged from 1.7-2.3 degrees, and amber to very dark syrup was made. Folks are sitting at 1.75-2L/tap, or 115%-150% of an average yield for these particular producers. One producer reported no sign of bud break, but the others are seeing clear signs of spring.

Waterloo-Wellington (4 respondents)

Similar to Southwestern, respondents in this region reported a range of sap flow from slow to strong. Sap brix ranged from 1.8-2 degrees, and the respondent at 2 Brix mentioned this being very low compared to previous years. Amber and dark syrup are being made, and producers are at 65-125% of an average year’s yield. Soft maples are budding out but there seems to be no movement yet in sugar maples. One producer who tapped early, and who is at 125% of an average year’s yield, will be pulling taps this week.

Grey-Bruce & District (6 respondents)

The first half of last week had good sap flow in this region, and then tapered off for some respondents, while others experienced steady flow through the weekend and into early this week. Sap Brix ranged from 1.8 to 2.1, which respondents said was low to average. Producers are making golden, amber, and dark syrup, and are at 50-125% of an average year’s crop. One producer on vacuum lines reported making 1.75L/tap. Producers are worried about today’s warm weather, though only one respondent is seeing bud swell and experiencing stronger syrup flavour. One producer on buckets commented that the weather has been terrible, but one producer on vacuum is reporting getting all-night runs. Another producer on vacuum lines who has made over average yield has ended their season this past Saturday.

Simcoe & District (8 respondents)

Most respondents in this region reported moderate to good sap flows in the past week. One producer on vacuum experienced the best run of the season late last week measuring 10L/tap in 24 hours. Another on buckets recorded 10L/tap for the week. Brix ranges from 1.8-2.8 degrees, and is about average for those who measured. Most respondents made dark syrup, but larger producers on vacuum are still making mostly amber. Respondents on buckets with under 100 taps have made from 0-50% of an average year’s crop, and others have made 75-125%. One producer with bushes in multiple locations report that their bush in Alliston has yielded 2.5L syrup/tap, while the one in Owen Sound is sitting at 0.75L/tap. There’s no sign of bud swell yet, but one producer on buckets is reporting yellowing sap.

Haliburton-Kawartha (12 respondents)

Sap flow was universally reported as moderate to strong, though one large producer on vacuum commented that sap flow was less than what they would have expected given the excellent weather conditions. Reported Brix ranged from 1.8-2.4, with two respondents commenting it was lower than average and one that it was higher than usual. Golden, amber, and dark syrup are being made with seemingly no differential between collection type (buckets vs. gravity. vs. vacuum). Producers with under 100 taps on buckets have made 25-200% of an average year’s crop, and everyone else ranges between 50-120%. One respondent reporting seeing bud swell, others think this week’s warm weather will bring it on, while still others are reporting significant snowcover in the bush still.

Quinte & District (3 respondents)

Sap flow was heavy according to all respondents, with Brix ranging from 1.5-2 which was reported as average. Amber and dark syrup are being made, and producers have made 75-110% of an average year’s crop. One person reports seeing some bud swell, and another that the sap is starting to get cloudy and smell different in the pans.

Lanark & District (7 respondents)

Sap flows ranged from poor to good last week. One producer on buckets reported 3L/tap/day. Brix ranged from 1.5-2.4, with most commenters saying it was below average. Mostly amber syrup is being made with some dark. Yield ranges from 65-110% of an average year’s crop, with most clustering around 90-110%. There is no bud swell in sugar maple yet and there seems to be snow in quite a few bushes. However, one producer on vacuum reports cloudy sap and another on buckets pulled their taps over the weekend. Lots of sugar sand is reported but no filtration issues. A large producer on vacuum is expecting another 7-10 days in the season.

Eastern (5 respondents)

Moderate to good sap flows were reported unanimously in the region, with some colder weather slowing things down at the beginning of the week. One producer on buckets reports harvesting 2.5L/tap/day. Sugar content ranges from 1.7-2.4 Brix, with one producer saying it was relatively low and two others that it was on the higher end of average. All respondents are making amber syrup, and one producer on buckets making some dark. 45-90% of an average year’s crop has been made. Only one respondent is seeing bud swell. One producer who taps soft maples is expecting the season to be over by the end of next weekend.

Ottawa Valley District (7 respondents)

Sap flow last week is reported as slow to average, or in the case of one bucket producer heavy but intermittent. Brix ranged from 2-3.5 degrees, with one producer reporting that it was below average and another that it was higher than normal. Mostly amber syrup is being made, with some golden. Only one producer on buckets made dark and very dark. Most respondents have made 15-30% of an average year’s crop, but but one producer on buckets has made 80%. There is one report of some bud swell in the woods and another that there is bud swell happening in Ottawa. Most others are reporting lots of snow still and frozen trees, and one producer highlighted that this year brings some of the toughest snow and bush conditions in the last 10 years.

Algonquin District (9 respondents)

Most folks in this region experienced on and off sap flow due to the intermittent freezing weather, though one producer on vacuum reported excellent runs. Brix ranges from 2-2.7, and one producer described his reading as average. Golden, amber, and some dark syrup are being made. Yield is ranging from 25-70% of an average year’s crop. No bud swell or other signs of spring reported. 4 folks reported very high sugar sand and niter this week, but no filtration issues.

Algoma & District (3 respondents)

Sap run is slow and intermittent for respondents in this region, with just one person saying sap flow picked up in the last few days. Unfortunately, there was an ice storm last night (Tuesday) which downed trees in many bushes. Producers are several weeks behind a “normal” year, and many have not boiled yet despite some tapping early. Sap Brix ranges from 2.4-3 degrees, which one respondent says is significantly higher than usual. One producer is making golden syrup and another dark and amber. Average yield ranges from 0-40%.

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