maple-syrup-istock

Unseasonably warm weather led to a poor maple syrup harvest last year. (iStock)

The sap at sugar bush farms in New Brunswick is flowing ahead of schedule, which has maple syrup producers expecting a much better season than last year.

"This past couple days, it's been running really good," said Gig Kierstead, who owns and operates Elmhurst Outdoors on the Kingston Peninsula.

Normally, the sap doesn't start unit mid-March, he said.

The long-range weather forecast is also encouraging, said Kierstead.

"The only cool spell is during the weekend, which wouldn't be a problem," he said. "We'll have lots of sap to boil anyway" from throughout the week.

Kierstead says cold nights and mild days are needed for a good maple syrup harvest.

"Last year, about a week from now, we had 20-degree weather, which ruined us for the season," he said.

Unseasonably warm temperatures and floods led to a poor 2012 harvest for most producers in central and southern regions. Some producers in the Moncton area didn't even put out taps last year.

Kierstead expects the sap will keep running for the next five weeks.

New Brunswick's maple syrup industry is the third largest in the world and generates roughly $12 million in annual revenue for the province.