Spring has sprung for maple producers and backyard enthusiasts alike. Here’s the latest on all things maple and backyard news!
Maple news reports from the biggest maple syrup producing states and provinces are arriving at a brisk pace and are almost uniformly good. Domestic yeilds for some big producers in Vermont, Massachusetts and Ohio, may approach best-ever levels. And the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association reports that yields are up from last year. This is despite challenges like staffing shortages. Small producers in Minnesota reported a slow start followed by a good season. And the New Brunswick maple season was reportedly off to a “tremendous” start. Maple producers in Ontario expressed thanks for what they are calling a “typical” year. And reports ourt of Quebec are crediting some late-season cold weather for what they expect to be an excellent year for production.
Even in this year of better yields for some, however, maple syrup producers are not shying away from bad maple news. The challenges presented by climate change, especially in parts south and west, are here. Producers in New York and New Jersey lament that the maple syrup season has gotten earlier and shorter over the last few decades. Great Lakes area maple syrup makers are also reporting “shorter harvest seasons, less sugar production and unreliable sap flow.” Academics agree, reporting recently that “climate change and extreme weather events are making the region increasingly inhospitable for sensitive sugar maple trees to grow and thrive,” that the “season is coming earlier and ending sooner” and that “the freeze-thaw cycle that makes for good sap runs is increasingly erratic . . . forcing producers to make difficult choices.”
Maple news reports that the adaptation of the maple syrup industry to the climate changes is underway, though. Producers report that using new technologies, adopting indigenous forest management practices, and adding red maple sap to the mix are some of the strategies they are using to thrive in a changing climate.
On a lighter maple news note, you can take in a maple-syrup related Best Of Car Talk: Episode #2229 Sarah’s Ford Taurus IHOP! You can also take in the lastest in mass-produced maple-flavored things. That would be Thomas’s Maple French Toast English Muffins. And tune in soon for an Amazon Prime series produced by Jamie Lee Curtis and based on the Great Canadian Maple Heist.
So much of the news about backyarding relates to the spread of Avian flu among backyard flocks. Like COVID these days, it’s just everywhere! Here’s how backyard chicken keepers are protecting their birds from getting sick.
In other backyard news, these warm weather pursuits: backyard golf and backyard amusement park building. Also: getting ready for gardening, gardening and more gardening! A word to the wise is in order for backyard gardeners this year: seed scams. Buy from reputable seed merchants! High Mowing Seeds, Fedco Seeds and Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company are our faves.
Here’s to watching the world green up!
And, as always, for more maple and backyard news you can always go here.