Expectations of Quebec's maple syrup producers so-so for 2019

Maple syrup production tap

The weird early spring weather we've been seeing doesn't seem to concern Quebec's maple syrup producers, who depend on more predictable weather for good annual harvests.

Winter has overstayed its welcome in many parts of the province, especially in southwestern Quebec and Mauricie regions, where at some sugar shacks, the sap started running two weeks late.

But Simon Trépanier with Quebec maple syrup producer's association says despite that, the season still continues in the eastern part of the province, where temperatures continue to run a little colder.

"It might be stressful for some producers, but in the end, we have to wait until the beginning of May to know exactly what's going on [for the season]," Trépanier says.

Days when temperatures climb above 0°C during the day, and below freezing at night, are ideal for maple sap production, and the season ends once the nighttime freezing periods come to an end. And Trépanier says those kinds of daily temperature swings, which usually happen for the Montreal area in late March, are happening now in eastern Quebec.

Meanwhile, Trépanier says whether its a good year or a bad year for producers, consumers won't notice any serious price fluctuations at their local supermarket.

"20 years ago, we started what we call the strategic reserve of maple syrup, and we have about 80 per cent of a normal crop in stock," Trépanier says. "So if Mother Nature is not generous this year, we're going to use the reserve to fulfill the demand."