By Matthew Villeneuve
Grey Bruce maple syrup producers delayed from tapping trees.
Bitterly cold temperatures of late are putting the freeze on maple syrup production in Grey and Bruce.
Sap won't flow below freezing so producers are now waiting for warmer temperatures.
Grey Bruce Maple Syrup Association President Nick Bereznick says producers are also waiting for right tapping conditions.
Bereznick says tapping a frozen tree when it's bitterly cold can lead to what's called "frost cracking."
He says its damaging to the trees.
Even with some warmer daytime temperatures this week, Bereznick says it's still too cold at night.
He says they need a defrost for the sap to start flowing.
Typically the first week of March is when producers start to see minor tap flows.
The delay in the season is troublesome for producers.
Bereznick says it could mean a shorter season.
Right now producers are out checking their lines to make sure there is no damage and cleaning their equipment.
He says those producers on buckets tend to start later in the season.
There are around 25 local producers registered with the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association.
Bereznick says that equates to about 43,000 taps.
But he says there are many more small "back yard" producers.
Farm equipment dealers are seeing the effects of the railways being backed-up just as much as farmers.
Without farmers being able to sell their grain, they aren't as eager to purchase new equipment.
Brad Miller sells John Deere farming implements.
He's expecting business to be slower than usual until the majority of grain can be hauled.
There's more money to research the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.
The National Pork Board in the U-S has announced 1.1 million dollars in funding through new partnerships.
The research will look at pig feed to understand the role it may play in PED transmission.
Farm groups in the U-S have also formed new partnerships to help stop the spread of the deadly virus.