Maple syrup season may be different this year
Canada’s iconic maple tree started producing sap earlier this year due to unusually mild temperatures, surprising syrup producers.
late Warmer temperatures were felt in many parts of Canada in January, leading maple trees to produce sap. During this time, it is important for maple syrup producers to drill holes in the trees to collect the sap and prepare it for later conversion into maple syrup.
However, temperatures moderated before maple trees became available to some growers. That is, some farms did not collect the sap at all. For producers who harvest the sap, the syrup produced from it may have a different taste and color than what consumers are accustomed to.
Jamie Fortune, owner of Fortune Farms Maple Sugar Bush just outside Carlton Place, Ontario, said: told the CTV news channel on Tuesday. “That’s why we didn’t start tapping early. Now many of the big producers with tens of thousands of tapping start tapping in January, December, so the weather is very bad. We could have harvested the saplings here during the last week of mild weather.”
Quebec harvests more than 91% of the country’s maple syrup in 2021, with New Brunswick second, followed by Ontario.
According to Fortune, maple syrup producers don’t expect the sap to come out in January.
“When you think about this season, it usually starts at the beginning of March, but this early production is a real bonus. It adds 10 to 15 percent, so that’s a good thing.”
Fortune, who is also president of the Lanark and District Maple Syrup Producers Association, says late February weather in the Ottawa Valley is typically around -10 degrees Celsius.
When the early sap is collected, the resulting syrup is darker in color and has a different taste.
“This early sap is generally low in sugar,” Fortune said. In general, the more you process it, the longer it takes to simmer and the thicker the syrup.”
Fortune also said minerals in the sap can affect the color of the syrup.
While it may be difficult for syrup producers to predict the arrival of unpredictable warming, new productivity-enhancing technologies can help them make the most of the season, Fortune said. rice field.
“All the major producers are now using vacuum systems,” says Fortune. “The vacuum system is sealed, so no oxygen can get into the holes in the cap.”
In the past, maple syrup producers would spout the tree to allow the sap to flow into a bucket. Many large growers are now vacuuming the sap from the trees, increasing the level of productivity.
“Because we’re draining the sap from the line, the sap doesn’t flow back into the trees,” Fortune said. It helps.”
Producers also use a technique called reverse osmosis, which removes water from the sap, reducing the boiling time and energy required to make maple syrup.
Last year, record-breaking maple syrup production was produced at 79.1 million liters. This is his highest yield since 2008, he increased by 53.8% from 2021.
Yield forecasts for this year have yet to be determined, but growers are patiently awaiting changes in the weather.
“I’m ready to start making syrup when the next warm weather hits,” Fortune said.