Another record year for Quebec's maple syrup producers
The mild weather we've seen in southern Quebec in the late winter and early spring has led to a bumper crop for maple syrup producers in 2017.
Quebec's maple syrup producers' federation says it's a record year — Quebec's sugar shacks have produced 152.2 million pounds of the liquid gold this season, beating last year's record of 148 million pounds.
It's the third time in five years the all-time record has been shattered.
In most parts of the province, the maple season started in late February, when daytime temperatures started to edge above freezing.
"It started really really early in February," said the federation's Caroline Cyr, "then it stopped for a few weeks, and then we had a cold April and March, so it was perfect for maple syrup production."
Maple sap typically flows when daytime temperatures climb above freezing, followed by below-freezing temperatures at night.
Cyr says it was a great season across the board, but it was especially so in two places — the Gaspé-Lower St. Lawrence and Montérégie regions.
She also suggests maple syrup harvesters have access to better technology and better training to get the most out of their maple trees.
Quebec is by far the world leader in maple syrup production, and Cyr says this year's bumper crop will help the province enhance that position.
"It will help us keep our leadership in maple syrup production, since we had this really good season," she says. "We'll have enough maple syrup to fulfill the market."