Windsor

Maple Syrup season jeopardized by cold temperatures

The maple syrup season could be tapped out before it even starts this year.

The maple syrup season could be tapped out before it even starts this year.

The colder than normal temperatures are keeping production of the iconic Canadian treat at a standstill in parts of southwestern Ontario.

"There's just absolutely no sap flow at all. If you try and tap trees in the sharp cold it will crack the bark and create leakage around the spiral," said Don Giffin a maple syrup producer in Blenheim, Ont.  

Environment Canada is predicting chilly temperatures to continue throughout February and into March, according to meteorologist Peter Kimbell.

Kimbell said temperatures in February have been seven or eight degrees below average in Ontario, sometimes even 10 degrees below.

Syrup producers need the mercury to drop below freezing at night.

"It's strictly mother nature, and you just have to hope for cold nights, warm days with lots of sunshine, and it will happen," said Robert Jakeman, a fourth generation maple syrup maker in Woodstock.
 
Some farmers are worried the syrup season could run dry if the mercury does not co-operate this year.

"There's always that risk. Nothing's for sure. There's definitely a concern there," said Jakeman.

But when the sap starts to flow, it could bring a strong crop.

"A cooler than normal season sometimes gives us a higher quality maple syrup," said Jakeman. "We're gonna have maple syrup, it just depends when it comes."

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