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Stock up on your maple syrup: El Nino could spell a bad year for sap

Canadian maple production decreased 6.1 per cent to 8.9 million gallons last season, said Statistics Canada.

MONTREAL • A late spring caused Canada’s maple syrup production to fall for the second consecutive year in 2015 — and El Nino is threatening to put a dent in next spring’s output as well.

The warmer El Nino weather is expected to have an impact on a number of commodities, including maple sap, said Sylvain Charlebois, professor of distribution and food policy at the University of Guelph’s Food Institute.

“I see little evidence that would encourage anyone to see a good year in 2016,” he said in an interview.

The impact would hit Quebec, the world’s dominant maple syrup producer, along with Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and syrup-producing U.S. states like Vermont and New York.

Producers on both sides of the border aren’t yet ready, however, to throw in the towel.

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