Skip to content

Freezing Canadian Weather Brings Pancake Bliss Amid Maple Syrup Boom

Cool temperatures help tree sap flow after 2021 deficit

RF Pancakes Maple syrup

Source: Getty Images

The wintry weather lingering in parts of Canada has yielded an expected gift: More maple syrup.

Output in Quebec, the world’s largest producer of the sticky breakfast staple, is now poised to rise in 2022 as cool spring temperatures allow farmers to tap trees for a longer period, said Pierre Rhéaume, spokesman for Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which is a government-sanctioned agency that sets prices and production for most of the world's syrup. Farmers are still harvesting in some northern parts of the province, with some gathering record amounts, he said.

The so-called sugaring season typically occurs between late February and the end of April, because tree sap is flows when daytime temperatures alternate between freezing and thawing. Last year, warm weather cut the harvest short, resulting in a syrup deficit. In order to meet demand, Quebec had to drain nearly 50 million pounds of syrup from its strategic reserve, about half its stockpile and the most since 2008.

“This year the span is much longer,” Rhéaume said Wednesday by phone. “It’s rather cold even now. I had to put on my winter coat this morning. It has helped.”

Quebec Maple Syrup Producers sets bulk prices, caps production and sends unsold syrup output to a warehouse in Laurierville, Quebec. The strategic reserve was the scene of a notorious heist uncovered in 2012 and the agency is planning to build a second warehouse for additional storage amid rising sales and exports.