RANDOLPH, Vt.—The early tappers are at it again, getting a jumpstart on the 2022 season.
“We have made a little over 100 gallons so far off 1700 taps we put in the second week of December,” said Cody Armstrong of Randolph, Vt. who has earned a reputation for routinely getting out early with the drill.
Armstrong said his first boil was on Jan. 3, after collecting upwards of 10,000 gallons of sap during the thaws between Christmas and New Year’s.
Higher up in Vermont, Gary Corey of Corey’s Maple Orchard in Fairfield, Vt. also got out early.
With 105,000 taps to put in at the 3,000 acre farm, getting out early is necessary to keep up with the season.
Corey said he was boiling on Dec. 17.
“We made 1,000 gallons,” he told The Maple News.
He was expecting to make another 400 gallons on January 5.
David Campbell of 20,000-tap Mapleland Farms in Salem, N.Y. boiled on Sunday, Jan. 2, the earliest start in his career.
The Stewart family in Cuttingsville, Vt. were also out very early.
The farm reported its first sap run off of 5,000 taps on Dec. 5.
"We started tapping the 27th of November and it's been mostly favorable conditions," Elliot Stewart told The Maple News on Friday. "Sugar content has tested better than most of last season so hopefully that's a sign of good things to come."
Other farms across the Maple Belt were holding off on getting started just yet.
"It's still too early for us," said Annetta Enlow of 5,000 tap Sleepy Hollow Maple in Friendsville, Md.
"We had a really warm December and now it's too cold and we're supposed to get a bunch of snow," she told The Maple News on Friday. "We're probably going to wait another 2 or 3 weeks."
Meanwhile, Aaron Wilson an Atmospheric Scientist at The Ohio State University reported to Ohio maple producers on Thursday that the 2022 winter is expected to be warmer than normal and probably wetter too due to the La Niña weather effect.
La Nina conditions likely mean warmer than average, highly variable, and wetter than average 2022 winter season.
“I do expect a warmer than average spring after we get past this cold snap,” Wilson said on Thursday.