Producers of maple syrup in Northeast Ohio are beginning to feel the effects of weather that’s out of whack, as the season for their products seems to be coming in rather early.
Maple syrup farmers have had a great year so far. It’s even starting to look like a record first-run for their products, WKYC Studios reports.
Speaking with the news source, James Miller, a maple syrup farmer with a vineyard in Chipmunk Lane, explained that plantations on his property had been tapped since January, adding that there hasn’t been a reduction in quality so far.
Earlier Winters Bring Excellent Production Numbers
Miller explained that his maple syrup registers as about 94 percent clear, with a pale yellow color. The flavor is lighter than normal, but he’s not concerned, as he expects variants with a dark, rich amber color to come later in the eighth week season. In a world where cooking with maple syrup seems to be getting more and more popular, farmers could be seeing a stellar year in terms of production and sales.
“We’ve had a good run. We had 14,650 gallons of sap to make 310 gallons of syrup.” Which is a record for a first-run here at Sugar Valley Maple,” Miller said.
Sadly, while maple syrup producers seem to be gearing up for a tremendous year, inconsistent climate conditions and the other threats that stem from climate change are threatening other crops- and by extension, the many foods and drinks that could be made and consumed as their by-product.
Wine and Rice Production is Threatened
One of the many products that could be adversely affected by the continued effects of climate change is wine. To begin with, wine is an agricultural product since it’s gotten from grapes that need to be grown, harvested, and subsequently fermented. The effects of climate change could eventually tell on the heath of vines, which will go on to alter the taste and quality that many of the bottled wines have today.
In an article, Elizabeth M. Wolkovich, an associate professor of Forest & Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia in Canada, explained that wine grapes are very sensitive to the prevalent climate conditions around them. While this sensitivity is part of what makes them exquisite, it also means that the effects of climate change could be devastating for them.
While climate change might not necessarily cause these grapes to go extinct or reduce in quantity, the fact remains that inconsistent climate conditions could alter their production patterns and quality, and sustained changes such as these could also affect the wines we know and love to consume.
Another important agricultural product that could be seeing changes in production is rice. India, one of the top producers of rice in the world, has experienced some terrible spells of a drought recently. The country, which specializes in producing grain crops (especially finger millet, maize, pearl millet, sorghum, and rice), has now seen its production capabilities hampered significantly.
Last year, Science Daily reported that Kyle Davis, an environmental data scientist, had written in Environmental Research Letters that yields from rice (India’s major crop) have massively declined as a result of extreme weather conditions. As he explained, India’s reliance on rice as its major crop, coupled with the continued effects of climate change, could lead to terrible outcomes for the food supply of a country with about 1.3 billion people.