Warm March hurts syrup productionThere will likely be less Wisconsin-made maple syrup this year in local stores and farmers markets. A warmer-than-usual March has put a sizeable dent in this year’s production.
By: Steve Roisum, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
There will likely be less Wisconsin-made maple syrup this year in local stores and farmers markets. A warmer-than-usual March has put a sizeable dent in this year’s production.
In ideal conditions, the sap in maple trees needs to freeze at night, and warm up in the day, to make flow possible in March and April. Gretchen Grape is the executive director of the Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers Association. She says warmer weather altered the process for many producers. She says some syrup makers will likely sell about a quarter as much as last year due to the warm weather. Grape says some producers have said they have enough syrup for themselves and friends, but not enough to sell to the public.
Others were able to salvage most of their supply. Joe Polak runs Maple Hollow in Merrill. He says this year’s yield was about average for him. Polak used vacuum tubes to get the sap. It’s a method that’s more expensive than just tapping a tree and letting nature run its course, still Polak says the vacuum processing method is catching on with more producers.
Grape says there are 400 producers in Wisconsin who process maple syrup for a living, another 800 do it as a hobby.