New Brunswick

Maple syrup season delayed, possibly jeopardized by weather

Maple syrup producers in New Brunswick say the season is delayed this year and could potentially be in jeopardy, due to the harsh winter conditions.

Extreme cold and heavy snowfall has kept sap from running, say producers

Maple syrup producers in New Brunswick say the season is delayed this year and could potentially be in jeopardy.

The maple syrup season could be tapped out before it even starts this year, due to the extreme cold and heavy snowfall, producers say. (Tori Weldon/CBC)
The sap would normally start flowing in early March, said Yvon Poitras, of the New Brunswick Maple Syrup Association.

But it could be another month, due to the cold weather and heavy snowfall, he said.

"If it’s a delay, and the weather’s proper after that, no problem. But if the weather changes, big ups and downs, then it jeopardizes the season."

Poitras says meteorologists are predicting what he calls "lousy weather" for March and April, and by May, it may be too warm to collect the sap.

At the Trites Family Sugar Bush in Stilesville, just outside of Moncton, heavy snow has complicated the transmission system of carrying sap from the trees to the boiling tanks.

"Right now, the lines are all buried underneath all the snow that's here and if we tap in, we'd have to dig out. This piece of property is 40 acres and I have 3,500 trees here, so that means I have about nine miles of pipeline that has to be dug out," said Bonnie Trites.

New Brunswick is the third largest producer of maple syrup in the world, making about 1.8 million kilograms of syrup every year.

Trites' family has been doing it for four generations and she says it all comes down to one thing.

"It doesn't really depend on the snow, it's the weather you get right in the season that totally dictates," she said.

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