Jen is Nursery Crops Specialist, OMAFRA and works with commercial tree nurseries and landscape industries.
Seeing holes in newly emerged leaves but all you can find are dark, fuzzy little caterpillars? Gypsy moth larvae have dispersed and begun to feed on trees and shrubs. Look for holes in leaves and turn over to inspect leaf undersides for tiny larvae. We often see both Gypsy moth larvae and cankerworm larvae feeding on the same leaves. Their favorite hosts seem to be species of Quercus (Oaks), Acer (Maple), Fagus (Beech), Tilia (Linden), Betula (Birch) and they can even be found on Picea pungens (Colorado blue spruce). Continue reading
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) has just announced a new program to help fund agri-food businesses starting e-commerce sales or other activities that might open new market channels. This targeted intake is called “Agri-food Open for E-business” and can be found on the OMAFRA website.
Read on for more details of the program, who is eligible, and examples of projects maple syrup producers can apply for in each of the two program streams.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and to respect physical distancing measures, all OMAFRA crop specialists are working remotely but are still available to assist you.
We will continue to support the sector’s needs by providing services via email, phone and virtual meetings where possible. We understand these are trying times for most and so we want to assure everyone that we are continuing delivery of information in a timely manner through these alternative channels.
We will continue to provide the sector with the support we’ve always given. Thank you for your understanding.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
Ontario maple syrup is ready!
Are you eager to purchase fresh Ontario maple syrup?! This year’s maple syrup has exceptional flavour and quality! Contact a local maple syrup producer to arrange for a safe and convenient way to order, or have delivered to your home, maple syrup and other specialty maple products. Continue reading
What’sap’pening around the province!
Maple syrup production has continued across the province these past few weeks. In early southwestern regions from Sarnia, Chatham-Kent to Kitchener-Waterloo and Niagara region, many producers report they have processed 75% to 90% of the provincial average yield of 1.1 L syrup per tap.
In earliest southwest sugar bushes, where new tight vacuum is used for sap harvest, syrup yields of 1.6 L to 1.9 L syrup per tap has been processed. In this area, colour classes and crop yield percent include; Golden 5%, Amber 65%, Dark 25%, Very Dark 5% with a little more Very Dark syrup expected next week. Continue reading
The 2020 maple sap harvest and maple syrup processing season is underway in southern areas of Ontario. Many producers in southern areas have their sugar bushes fully tapped and are busy processing new syrup, while others are still working on completing tapping their trees. The first sap harvest and boil occurred in the earliest southwestern areas (London-Chatham-Sarnia) the first week of February. Mid-season southern areas had their first sap run and boil occurring the third and fourth weeks of February. From weather forecasts, numerous sap runs will occur in the coming days across southern regions.
For sap flow conditions, watch for consecutive days of thawing daytime temperatures with freezing night time temperatures, ideally +5 ⁰C day and -5 ⁰C night. Trees that are deeply frozen require several days to thaw before sap flows. Low atmospheric pressure during the thaw period often produces a faster flow of sap, but not always a higher yield. Continue reading
Interest in alternative tree syrup is growing
In southern Ontario, walnut syrup is currently produced in small hobby batches from sap harvested from maturing trees that are found growing in small groups or are growing randomly along fencerows of farm fields. In many cases, squirrels likely planted the walnut trees. Sap is collected from walnut trees using buckets, since operations are not practically large enough at this time to install modern vacuum tubing.
Sap harvest has ended in Ontario
The 2019 maple sap harvest and syrup processing season has come to an end for maple syrup producers. Late northern areas were able to process a few final runs of sap before buddy off-flavours appeared. Although the precise results of syrup production are not tallied yet, maple syrup producers say they are satisfied with both the yield of syrup and the high quality of maple flavour for the 2019 harvest.
Past two weeks summary
The maple syrup season may have gotten off to a late start this year, but the past two weeks have provided weather conditions that have been just right for frequent sap runs. All areas of the province were in production these past two weeks, from early southwestern and Niagara areas to late northern regions. Moderate to large volumes of sap have been processed repeatedly into syrup to keep up with the flow of new sap.
Past two weeks summary
Sap harvest is underway in early and mid-season areas across southern Ontario and just beginning in later northern regions. Production in southwestern and Niagara regions report the 2019 syrup crop ranges from 50 to 80+ percent of an average yield, with very large sap runs happening in Wellington / Waterloo this past week. Grey-Bruce and similar mid-season areas report no large sap runs have occurred yet however, 30 to 50 percent of the syrup crop has been processed. Continue reading
Previous two weeks summary
The extended deep-freezing conditions over the past two weeks has stopped sap harvest and maple syrup processing in early regions of southwestern Ontario and Niagara. Central mid-season areas and northern areas are still on track for a normal start to the sap harvest season.
The snow is deep this year in northern and Ottawa Valley sugar bushes and producers have been occupied with digging out buried mainlines. Tap installation in many sugar bushes was progressing well until the deep cold made the risk of bark splitting too high. Continue reading