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Season Summaries

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Season Update # 8: Season big in central regions, but cold snap could hurt the north 

Peter Gregg | April 14

GEORGETOWN, N.Y.—The season is shut down or close to it in much of the Maple Belt, with the northern regions bracing for another cold snap that could hurt their season totals.

“We had tremendous sap volume but we didn’t have good sugar content all year,” said Pete Walrod of Georgetown, N.Y. who had 8,000 taps out this year and was buying from another 2,000.

Walrod said he was getting 1.1 or 1.2 percent sugar most of the season and the best was 1.5.

“The ratio just wasn’t there,” he said.

That was the story for many sugarmakers, who blame a “mast year” for the low sugar, with trees putting energy into making seeds instead of converting sugars. MORE ]

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Season Update #6: Massive crowds for open houses

Peter Gregg | March 28, 2018

PALMYRA, Maine—Sugarmakers were reporting record crowds for maple open house weekends across the Maple Belt.

“We’ve had more people than we’ve had in years,” said Charles Levesque in Antrim, N.H. on Saturday, March 24.

New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine all had public tours this weekend.

In Maine, the crowds were literally massive.

At Eureka Farms in Palmyra, Maine, Seth and Hollis Edwards were expecting more than 5,000 visitors over the two day event last weekend.
MORE ]

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Season Update #5: Midwest awakens; zero carryover of syrup from last year

Peter Gregg | March 20, 2018

EL PASO, Wisc.—Sugarmakers in the Upper Midwest were firing up for the first time this week as temps notched upward, as a major bulk buyer proclaimed the region is out of bulk syrup from last year.

“I don’t have a barrel in the house,” said Peter Roth of Roth Sugar Bush in Cadott, Wisc. on Monday. Roth is one of the biggest syrup buyers in the state and was trying to dispel the notion that there is a glut of carryover syrup on the market from last season.

“The supply of syrup in the Midwest is non-existent,” Roth said. “I don’t see the surplus that everybody talks about.” MORE ]

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Season Update #1: Low sugar in Pa. early season

Sandra Lepley | March 11, 2018

Many maple producers in Western Pennsylvania were reporting a low sugar content to start the season off in late January and early February.
With an unusually cold winter and temporary warm streaks here and there, the weather has played a big part in maple production in the Keystone State. MORE ]

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Season Update #3: Snow settles trees in the Northeast

Peter Gregg | March 9, 2018

The second Nor’Easter in a week in the Northeast has slowed down the trees and given sugarmakers a much needed break.

“We boiled nine out of the last 10 days in a row through Wednesday,” said Joanne Birch of Readsboro, Vt. who has already made half a crop.

But on Thursday and Friday, Birch got 22.5 inches of snow, piled on top of the 9 inches from the Nor’Easter last week.

“It’s all fluffy stuff but I don’t want to have to go in the woods,” she said. MORE ]

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US maple crop way up over last year

Peter Gregg |

The United States maple crop came in at 4.207 million gallons, a massive jump over last year's crop of 3.434 million gallons, according to the statistics service of the U.S. agriculture department. MORE ]

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Quebec crop a massive record breaker

Caroline Cyr, Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers |

Quebec’s 2016 maple syrup production was 148.2 million pounds, an unprecedented 23% jump from the previous record of 120 million pounds set in 2013, the Federation of Quebec Maple Producers reported. MORE ]