Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia weather puts freeze on maple syrup industry

The deep snow still covering much of the province is leaving a sour taste in the mouths of some Nova Scotia maple syrup producers.

With deep snow covering the province, maple syrup producers in sticky situation

Cumberland County maple syrup producer Jean Bentley says she can't access her 40,000 trees because there's as much as two metres of snow covering the property. (AP)

The deep snow still covering much of the province is leaving a sour taste in the mouths of some Nova Scotia maple syrup producers. 

Jean Bentley and her husband run Bentley's Maple Syrup Farm in Westchester Station, Cumberland County. 

Cumberland County is where the bulk of the province's maple syrup is produced.

Bentley says they can't access their 40,000 trees because there's as much as two metres of snow covering their property. 
    
"At this time of the year we probably would be in the sugar woods, boiling sap and making syrup" she tells CBC Radio's Information Morning.

"This year there isn't a thing happening there's just too much snow.All the taps are buried, all the lines are buried. We're waiting for mother nature to give us some warmer weather."

It's proving hard to trek in and bring back the sweet stuff. Bentley says all of the taps and lines that collect the swap are buried. 

This difficult spring for the Bentley's comes a year after a devastating fire burned their sugar camp to the ground.

"On March 19, everything was destroyed. Well over $1 million," Bentley says.

This was the second fire at the facility. In 2006 a similar fire levelled the facility.

"We needed a good season because it was a big expense to get it back up and running," she says.

"Right now it would probably take a month to get some warmer weather and to get down so we could look at the trees again … so you could get the sap out of the trees — take a long time."

Bentley says if it gets too warm, that could also cause problems for producing maple syrup. 

"Normally we're done, at least by the end of April in our production — if we have a good season — so it's hard to say. Then again, it might come in too warm and you might end up with nothing," she says.

Bentley says it's been a hard season for other maple syrup producers.

"Some of them may not be as bad off as we are, maybe they don't have as much snow — but they're all pretty bad," she says.
 
"We need frosty nights and nice warm days … we just haven't been getting any warm weather."

She says she's not sure what impact this will have on the price of maple syrup this year. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.