•  James Hawley of XR Maple Farm in Arlington, Vt. on Wednesday. "We're still hoping to get another week out of the season," Hawley told The Maple News.

  •  The season is just starting to break open at 18 Mile Sugarbush in Grandview, Wisc., owned by Paul and Patty Gilbertson. (Phillip Kucera photo)

  •  Woods crewman Dan Daigneault of Crown Maple in Sandgate, Vt. checks the bank of tanks at the 123,000-tap operation. Sap flow was excellent this week, he said.

  •  Sugarmaker James Hawley of XR Maple Farm in Arlington, Vt. collects off a 3,500-tap woods on Wednesday, April 3. "The season came on in a hurry," Hawley said.

  •  A lucky horseshoe forms in the concentrate tank during sugarmaker Joy Herfurth's record 22,600 gallon run at Brandy Brook Maple Farm in Ellenburg Ctr. The big run came in 36 hours from Tuesday into Wednesday. "We might run out of barrels," she said.

Season Update #7: Season catches up in a hurry

Bulk price ticks up slightly at Bascom's


ELLENBURG CTR., N.Y.—The season is catching up fast, with an ocean of sap in the East this week.

“We’re overwhelmed with gratitude,” said Joy Herfurth of 10,000-tap Brandy Brook Maple Farm in Ellenburg Center, N.Y., near the Canadian border.

Herfurth said she got 22,600 gallons of sap in 36 hours from Tuesday into Wednesday of this week.

“That’s a record for us,” she said.  “Our biggest holding tank is 4,000 gallons.  So it was crazy.”

Like many in the Northeast, Herfurth had earlier worried about the late start.  But that’s all changed now.

“We might run out of barrels,” she said.

In Arlington, Vt. young sugarmaker James Hawley of 8,500-tap XR Maple Farm was out collecting Wednesday morning, pulling up to overflowing tanks.

“We’ve made a whole lot in a hurry,” Hawley told The Maple News.  ‘We’re hoping to get another week out of it.  Then we’ll be where we were last year.”

In Sandgate, Vt. the season was going strong at the 123,000-tap sugarbush of Crown Maple., where sap is collected and concentrated to 20 percent and then trucked 100 miles south to boil in Dover Plains, N.Y.

Woods crewman Dan Daigneault said this week has been strong for production.

“It’s been running pretty good this week,” he said.  “We’ve had lots of good flow.”

Sugarmakers everywhere seem to be enjoying much better sugar content in the sap this year compared to last.

Matthew Leid of Huron River Sugaring in Willard, Ohio said sap this season was running at 2.5 percent.

“That’s really good for our woods,” he told The Maple News on Wednesday.  “Last year we were at 0.9 percent all season.”

In Lower Michigan, the season was wrapping up this week.

"Our production in many places has been above last year, and an outstanding season for most," said Big Tom Stuart of Big Tom's Maple Supply in Lake Odessa, Mich.

Stuart too was raving about the sugar content.

"It was the best sugar content we've ever seen.  It had been 3-3.5 percent and still is over 2 percent for most sugarbushes," he said.

Meanwhile, the bulk price for syrup ticked upward slightly last week.

Bruce Bascom of Bascom Maple Farms in Alstead, N.H., one of the biggest syrup field buyers in the U.S., raised the price of his payouts for Amber Rich one dime, going to $2.10 per pound, up from $2.00.

Bascom is at $2.10 per pound for Golden Delicious also.   

Bascom’s price for Dark Robust is $2.00 per pound and Very Dark is $1.75.

“Although I might go to $1.80,” Bascom told The Maple News last week.