N.S. maple industry receives $25,000 in government funding

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Funding used to understand the effects of climate change on industry

AMHERST – The Nova Scotia government is providing help for four businesses to better understand and adapt to the effects of climate change.

One of those businesses being maple production.

The Maple Research Programme was created when a partnership was formed between Dalhousie University’s School of Agriculture and the Maple Producers Association of Nova Scotia.

They recently received $25,000 through the province’s Climate Change Adaptation Fund (CCAF) to research the effects of climate change.

“The intent is to cater to the research of development, innovation, education and training needs of the industry,” said Dale McIsaac, member of the Maple Producers Association of Nova Scotia.

A steering committee, headlined by co-chair Dr. Raj Lada, professor and head of the department of environmental sciences; co-chair Robert Frame, vice-president of the Maple Producers Association of Nova Scotia will be conducting the research.

“We are very pleased that Dr. Lada and Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture have taken a real interest in the maple industry in Nova Scotia. We feel that the industry has the potential and opportunities for growth and development. The governments have given us the confidence and support to move forward,” McIsaac said.

There are two projects underway. The first consists of a comprehensive industry survey to establish what the industry looks like now and to allow producers to report their problems and concerns and to inform the committee of the things that can be done to help them be more productive, efficient and sustainable.

The second project that will get underway in a few weeks will look at the climate change issue and how it is affecting the growth of the sugar maple trees, and the yields of syrup from those trees. They will be comparing the growth and yields to climate data over the years. The project will also be looking at things the industry and producers can do to help lessen the effects of climate change.

“Ultimately, we hope to be able to help producers manage their operations and their woodlot to mitigate the effects of climate change and perhaps take advantage of it,” McIsaac said.

Maple producers such as Kevin McCormick have noticed that climate change hasn’t really effected production but made note that the maple season is starting sooner than ever before.

“It seems like we’re getting an earlier spring by at least a couple of weeks from when I started 25 years ago. (Climate change) hasn’t really effected us other than the fact that we need to be prepared earlier in the spring,” McCormick said.

staffreporter@amherstdaily.com

 

Organizations: Maple Producers Association of Nova Scotia, Climate Change Adaptation Fund, Maple Research Programme Dalhousie University School of Agriculture Lada and Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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