PAWLET, Vt.—The last gasp of the season for most this weekend.
“The lower elevation trees are on the way out,” said Dale Aines, of 20,000-tap Mettowee Valley Maple in Pawlet, Vt. on Tuesday.
Aines was happy with the season, despite a cold March and was hopeful to keep going through this weekend.
As of early this week Aines had 2/3rds of a crop and was still getting big runs of sap.
The 2017 sugaring season is winding down in most areas except the upper regions of the U.S., wrapping up what has been a long, weird weather year.
“It’s been kind of a sticky season,” said Roger Bundy, an 11,300-tap producer in Eau Galle, Wisconsin. “It’s all so messed up. We don’t get our seasons anymore like we used to.”
Still Bundy says he is looking at a decent crop, comparable to the very good crop he got last year. Most Wisconsin producers are reporting good production, but a long season.
Bundy said it was the first time he has boiled in Feb. March and April in a season.
March was a fickle month indeed. With long cold stretches but enough quick warm-ups in between for farmers to eke out some production.
“There were two weeks in March where we did nothing,” said Keith Rennie, a producer in Huntingdon, Que. near the New York border.
Rennie expected to keep going through this weekend.
“There is quite a bit of snow in the woods still,” he said.
Joy Herfurth of Brandy Brook Maple Farm in Ellenburg Center, N.Y. said their farm was on course to hit their average “and hopefully get a little bonus.”
Herfurth had 10,000 taps out this year and was at 2,700 gallons as of mid-week. She was not optimistic that she would make it through this coming warm spell, where temperatures are expected to hit the high 70s in many regions of the Northeast.
But in the upper reaches of the Maple Belt, and in higher elevations, there was confidence that the season still had a way to go.
Neil Walling in Norwich, N.Y. said he was still going strong.
“We went over 6lbs per tap last night,” Walling reported on Thursday. “Nothing buddy yet. Another excellent season.”
Dave Fuller of Fuller’s Maple in Lancaster, N.H. said “I see no issues whatsoever in keeping us from going until mid-April.”
Fuller said he is currently at 3lbs per tap and was hoping to hit 4lbs by this weekend. April is opening up his woods after a dreary March that had his trees shut down.
“I’ve never gone through such a long stretch of cold weather in my sugaring career,” Fuller said.
Since the trees have opened up again, that cold weather is paying him back with light syrup.
“We have had day after day of super light syrup,” Fuller told the Maple News on Friday.