ALSTEAD, N.H.—Big syrup crops in the Northeast and Upper Midwest are tamping down prospects of a dramatically higher bulk price this season.
But there is still an increase.
Packers in the Northeast for the most part will be paying $2.60 per pound for the top grades, not much higher than prices before the season started but significant higher than this time last year.
Prices paid by most packers for field run bulk syrup are $2.60 per pound for Golden Delicious and Amber Rich; $2.50 per pound for Dark Robust; Very Dark Strong is paying $2.20 per pound and processing grades are $1.30.
There is a 20 cent premium attached to all organic syrup.
Sugarmakers with drums of ropy and unfiltered syrup will get 75 cents per pound.
“Big crop,” said Bruce Bascom, of Bascom Maple Farms in Alstead, N.H. and one of the biggest U.S. packers. “Northern half of U.S. did very much better than the southern tier. Most of the tonnage is made in the north.”
Michael Parker of Parker Maple Farms in West Chazy, N.Y. and a field buyer for Bascom said he’ll be looking to get all the syrup he can find.
“An appointment is necessary to come sell your bulk syrup at our barn warehouse,” Parker said.
At Parker’s farm, he said he made 62,000 gallons of syrup off of 110,000 taps and was still boiling as of Wednesday night.
“This is our best year ever and 98 percent of what we made this year was Golden,” Parker told The Maple News.
Ben Fisk of Ben’s Pure Maple Syrup in Temple, N.H. said he is also taking in syrup and will be paying $2.60 per pound.
“Yeah it is a big crop,” Fisk said on Wednesday.
Stanley Holmes in Ayer’s Cliff, Que. said it was shaping up to be a big crop at his 14,000-tap operation.
He said he filled 40 drums and 3,000 small containers as of Thursday.
“We’ve canned a lot of good syrup,” Holmes told The Maple News on Thursday. “Last year was a disaster and this year has been good and good quality. Right up to the end we were still making good syrup.”
In the Upper Midwest, the crop is also shaping up to be a gangbuster.
“We got syrup running right out the door,” said Peter Roth of Roth Sugar Bush in Cadott, Wisc. “This is our best season in the past ten years.”
Roth said the Wisconsin season is expected to last through the rest of the month.
He was not sure of bulk prices to be paid at his farm and was planning on waiting until May 1 to announce his price.
“I’ll be buying syrup but I don’t know what I’ll pay yet,” Roth said. “I’m set pretty good from last year yet. It’s not like I have to go out on the street corner for more.”
Steve Anderson of Anderson’s Maple Syrup in Cumberland, Wisc. also said he would be waiting until May 1 and the end of the Wisconsin season before announcing his bulk price.
“It seems like it is going to be an average to above average season this year, so I am not sure how far out of Wisconsin I am going to have to look for syrup,” Anderson told The Maple News on Thursday. “Weather has been good to us and we expect another week to 10 days of good syrup.”