An early start to the maple syrup season in Quebec
This past week's mild weather was good for maple syrup producers — the sap started running earlier than usual in some parts of the province.
Maple sap runs when the temperatures are right — above freezing during the day, and a little below at night.
That's what most parts the province have been seeing during the last half of February.
Caroline Cyr with the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers says it's not entirely unusual to see maple sap running in the Montreal area at that time, but in the eastern part of the province, the early start to the season caught some producers by surprise — so much so, that some didn't have time to screw the taps into their trees.
"A lot In the eastern part of the province, they were not quite ready for that because their taps were not done." Cyr says.
Success or failure of a maple season depends almost entirely on the weather. The province's maple producers set a record during last year's exceptionally mild winter, producing 148.2 million pounds of maple syrup. That shattered the previous record of 120.3 million pounds set in 2013.
Cyr says this year's head start on the maple season won't hurt at all, but she has no way of knowing what the next six weeks will bring.
"We don't know what Mother Nature will do," she says.