Maple syrup producers assess damage from ice storm
Looks like there was a "war in the woods," says Eastern Townships sugar bush owner
A maple syrup producer in Quebec's Eastern Townships is counting his losses from the recent ice storm that hit the region over the holidays.
Yves Théroux owns 200 acres of sugar bush near the town of Newport, located 45 kilometres east of Sherbrooke.
Broken trees litter his property and heavy branches are lying on maple syrup lines. He’s had three people with chainsaws working to clear roads and free the lines.
“After the ice storm, you’d think there’d been a war in the woods,” he told CBC News.
Théroux estimates the damaged trees will affect his annual production of maple syrup by about a 1,000 kilograms, or five percent.
The loss is manageable, he says, but it’s the clean-up that will be the biggest pain. Théroux expects the work to last into the summer.
And he's not the only one faced with a mess: neighbouring sugar bushes are dealing with similar situations, he said.
So far, the local branch of Quebec's agricultural insurance agency has only received one call about a damaged sugar bush.
Alain Perras, the agency's regional director for the Eastern Townships, said it only makes sense that some maple syrup producers would be affected by the ice storm.
However, he doubted the damage will have serious ramifications for maple syrup production in the area.
“I’m not sure it is going to be enough to bring big losses,” he said.
Producers facing a loss in production of 15 percent or more are eligible for compensation from the province.
About three quarters of the world's supply of maple syrup comes from Quebec.