Maple syrup output at record high: StatsCan

Canada’s production of maple syrup increased to a record high in 2009, while production of honey remained relatively stable, according to Statistics Canada.

In 2009, Canadian operators produced a record-high 9.1 million gallons of maple syrup, up 4.2 million gallons, or 85.7 per cent, over 2008, the federal statistics agency said in a release Tuesday. The increase was largely due to favourable weather conditions. The 2009 level surpassed the previous record of 7.3 million gallons in 2000.

The total value of the 2009 maple syrup crop amounted to $353.8 million, up $141.9 million, or two-thirds, from the value reported in 2008.

Farmers in Quebec, who account for over 90 per cent of Canadian maple syrup, produced 8.3 million gallons of syrup in 2009, 3.8 million gallons more than in 2008.

Prices for maple syrup were $36.92 per gallon in Quebec for 2009, $5.14 lower than the $42.06 per gallon in 2008.

Honey yields

Canadian beekeepers produced 64.8 million pounds in 2009, slightly below the level of 64.9 million pounds in 2008. Yields fell slightly from 116 pounds of honey per colony in 2008 to 115 pounds this year.

In 2009, production and yields remained virtually unchanged from 2008 levels. At the provincial level, the three Prairie provinces account for over 80 per cent of honey production in 2009, with Alberta the leading honey producing province. Factors affecting honey production are the weather, the amount of nectar available and presence of disease or mites.

In 2009, 6,728 people were engaged in commercial beekeeping activity, 200 fewer than in 2008. However, they had 576,000 managed hives, 5,600 more than in 2008.

In 2008, the total value of honey produced amounted to $105.2 million, up by $20.3 million, or 23.9 per cent from 2007.

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