3/29-4/7

Producers who were still collecting over the past week benefited from cooler weather or even freezing nights over the past week. Many saw the sap sweetness tick upward in addition to better rates of sap flow.  Most, but not all, operations have reported below or significantly below average levels of sap sweetness in 2021.  Off-flavors have begun to be detected as temperatures rise and sap becomes harder to keep fresh.    

A Bennington County sugar maker reports their last boil was on 3/24.  Sap wasn’t running at this location over the past week.  Sap sweetness was “above average” at this location compared to their long term average.  Total production reached 67%.  This producer added this on 4/7:

“I boiled for the last time on 3/24. We had a 3 day stretch of 70 degree days that caused the buds to swell and peepers to sing. It was a short year, I made 2/3 of my average crop. I gathered 65% of the normal amount of sap, which was sweeter than the last few years. Some higher altitude sugaring operations were able to boil until the end of March before off-flavor syrup shut them down.

A second Bennington County sugar maker reported their season ending on 4/2.  The final sap that ran was averaging 1.25% or less, which is considered “average” for this location.  The syrup produced was Very Dark/Strong with a “Buddy, Funky, unpleasant aftertaste”.  Total production reached 75% of the anticipated total for the season.  This sugar maker added:

              “Looking back on the season, we got a minor run on the first day of March, but then a cold front moved in and it didn’t get above freezing for seven straight days. We hoped to make up that lost time in April, but the weather did not cooperate. The seven-day heat wave that came on March 20 – 26, when temperatures soaring into the mid-70s, was just too much. The warmth changed something in the trees, which changed something in the sap. Last week, the syrup went off-flavor. The sap still came after that, but neither we nor the place where we sold a portion of our sap this year thought it was worth the time and effort to collect and boil it. And so we’re done.

Examining the weather from a different angle, I noted that this March, in our woods, there were 11 days when daytime highs were in the 30s or below. And there were 11 days when highs were 60 degrees or higher. That left just 10 days in the sweet spot. I hauled sap on 22 days this season. Last year, I hauled sap on 32 days in a season that started on February 24 and ended on April 2. As the days-spent-hauling number would suggest, our yield this year was off by almost a third compared to last. In 2020, our Maple Hill bush averaged 29.5 gallons per tap, this year the average was 20.6.”

In Sullivan County, NH a sugar maker reported “average” rates of sap flow over the past week and sap sweetness at 1.25% or less.  This is considered “below average” for this location.  Syrup produced has been Amber/Rich color but with a “sour sap” off-flavor.  Total production has reached 69% of the anticipated total at this location.  The producer added the following on 4/5:

              “Very poor weather. Crop is worst since 2012. Will maybe hit 75% of normal crop.”

In Windsor County a sugar maker reported sap flowing “very well” over the past week.  Sap sweetness was “below average” for this period.  Syrup produced was Dark/Robust with an undetermined off-flavor.  Total production reached 95% of the anticipated total for this operation.  This producer added the following: 

            “ended season after a very good week on April 6.”

A Rutland County sugar maker reported no sap flow on 4/5.  What sap that had been collected was averaging 1.5% (considered “average” for this operation).  Syrup produced has been Very Dark/Strong with no off-flavors.  Total production was reported to have reached 65% of the anticipated total on 4/5.  This producer added the following on 4/5:

              “The cold weather has come too little too late for us. We have been making very dark for a week and it has progressively gotten stronger. The red maples are budded along with some sugar maples. We decided to call it quits on Sat. Sap was still running slowly but turned milky very quickly in the tanks. Niter was prevalent this year and never turned really really dark. With more warm weather predicted with barely freezing or not at all at night it made sense to stop. The warm weather is definitely one for the record books around here. We started pulling taps today 4/5. Maybe the earliest date we have ever started to pull.”

An Addison County sugar maker reported “average” rates of sap flow and sap sweetness at 1.25% or less over the past week.  Sap sweetness is considered “significantly below average” for this operation.  Syrup produced was Dark/Robust with no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 50% of the anticipated total.  On 4/6 this sugar maker added:

              “sap sweetness has been steady at 1.3%…It’s well below our average.”

A Chittenden County sugar maker reported “average” rates of sap flow and sap sweetness around 1.5% (which is considered “average” for this operation).  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors detected.  Total production reached 78% of the anticipated total as of 4/1.

A second Chittenden County producer reported sap running “very well” over the past week.  Sap sweetness was 1.25% or less during that time and that is considered “below average”.  Syrup produced was Dark/Robust with no off-flavors.  Total production had reached 63% as of 4/5.

Snow clings to a red maple (acer rubrum) twig with swollen flower buds in early April. Many sugar makers in 2021 would appreciate anything to help slow the end of winter.

In Lamoille County, a sugar maker with a relatively warm location reported sap running at “average” rates over the past week and sap sweetness averaged 1.5% over that time.  That is considered “Below average” for this operation.  Syrup produced over the past week was Very Dark/Strong with no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 83% of the anticipated total.  This producer added this on 4/6:

              “ Very dark year. Now at about 80+%, I’m ready to close down. The color is Very Dark, flavor typical, but nearing buddy. Time to call it. April 4 & 5 gave big runs; but now no freezing in sight. It’s over.”

A second Lamoille County sugar maker (in a relatively cold location) reported sap running “very well” over the past week.  Sap sweetness has been averaging 1.25% or less, which is considered “significant;y below average” for this operation.  Syrup produced over the past week has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 66% of the anticipated total.  On 4/5 this sugar maker added”

              “Sap quality has improved in this last run and making very nice syrup although we are working very hard to get it as the sweetness averaged about 1.25%. Flavor has been very good but making mostly amber and dark which is very unusual for this operation.”

A Franklin County sugar maker reports “average” rates of sap flow over the past week and sap sweetness at 1.25% or less.  This is considered “significantly below average” for this operation.  Syrup produced over the last week was Amber/Rich color but with a slight Buddy (“Bud Light”) off-flavor.  Total production has reached 64% of the anticipated crop.  This producer reports that 4/5 was the last boil of the 2021 season.

A second Franklin County sugar maker reported sap running “very well” over the past week and sap sweetness at 1.25% or less.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich color over the past week.  On the subject of flavor the sugar maker added: “Last week had some metabolism, some sour, washed everything 2 times flushed lines all day Saturday (4/3). Bakersfield yesterday beautiful flavor – light color, Fairfield came out of a processing and went to a Very Dark/Strong.”  Total production has reached 87% of the anticipated crop.  On 4/6 this producer added:

              “Very weird season. sugar sand yesterday was a ton of it. Froze last night 4/5/2021. running strong.”

In Caledonia County a sugar maker reports “Average” rates of sap flow over the past week.  Sap sweetness during that time was 1.25% or less, which is “Significantly below average” for this location.  Syrup produced has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 72% at this operation.  The producer added:

              “Sap jumped to 1.5% 4/6. I don’t see the season going past Friday (4/9)”

A second Caledonia County producer reports sap running “very well” over the past week.  Sap sweetness has averaged 2% over the same time period, which is considered “below average” for this operation.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich color with “slight metabolism on one day”.  Total production had reached 59% of the anticipated total on 4/5.  This sugar maker added on 4/5:

              “Foam has been a challenge this year, but still using organic defoamer. Tough year production wise, but kind of fun to walk in the woods without snowshoes.”

In Orleans County, a sugar maker reported “average” rates of sap flow over the past week.  Sap sweetness was averaging 1.5% (considered “below average” for this operation).  Syurp produced over the past week was Dark/Robust with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 49% of the anticipated total as of 4/5.  This sugar maker added on 4/5:

              “Some big sap runs this week, but sugar content remains low.”

An Essex County sugar maker reports sap flowing “very well” over the past week.  Sap sweetness was 1.5% (which is considered “below average”).  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 66% of the anticipated total.  This sugar maker added on 4/5:

              “making darker than usual syrup. sweetness went up this week. started at 1.2 and now is 1.7”

In Quebec (SW of Montreal) a sugar maker reports sap running “very well” over the past week.  Sap sweetness was 1.25% or less during that time which is considered “below average” for this location.  Syrup produced has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Season long production has reached 66% as of 4/1 and the producer added the following comment about the season:

              “weird

3/25-3/29

Sample jars serve an important function to the sugar maker. They allow batches of syrup to be graded for color and clarity and when added to each days production they serve as a record for season long production. After the season, samples can be tested instead of opening entire barrels when packing syrup for retail or selling to syrup buyers. Remember to fill sample jars completely to avoid darkening (also known as layering) of syrup.

A quick update from Vermont Maple Bulletin. Below is the compiled responses from producers around Vermont and a few from outside the State. These responses came in either 3/27 or 3/28. Production totals have reached 25-75% of the anticipated crop. 8 out of 12 producers reported “Below Average” or “Significantly Below Average” sap sweetness. A few reports of off-flavor syrup have come in but are far from widespread.

Location (county) This week sap has been running…Over the last week, my sap sweetness has averaged…Compared to the long term average at my location, sap sweetness this year has been…Over the last week the syrup produced at my location has been…Have you detected any off-flavors in the syrup produced in the past week?How close to your anticipated total production have you made so far?Any other comments about how your season is progressing?
AddisonAverage1.5Significantly below averageDarkNo25Low sap content. Seems like the season could end early with low syrup yields but we’ll see. Weather has been too warm with no freeze/thaw cycles.
CaledoniaAverage1.25 or lessSignificantly below averageDarkA little bit of fermented flavor on 3/25, sap was coming into the RO AT 65F31Syrup filtering very well even though sap has been green and cloudy. Saw first sugar sand 3/26.
Quebec (SW of Montreal)Average1.5AverageAmberNo33
OrleansAverageBelow averageDarkNo35Sap has been averaging 1.75 Brix which is lower than normal for our bush and our syrup has been primarily Dark Robust. Too warm and dry with no freezes so we are not getting good sap runs.
LamoilleAverage2Below averageAmberNo35Hope we make it through the warm spell.  All syrup has been either amber or dark.  We normally have made 1/3 to 1/2 of our crop in golden.  Sap ran slow but steady during the warm days and night.  
ChittendenAverage2AverageDarkNo40
FranklinVery well1.5Below averageGoldenOn 3/26/21 noticed a little fermented smell, flavor ok40Looking like a short season 
Sullivan County, NHVery well1.5AverageAmberNo50No freeze for last 5 nights
FranklinVery well1.5Below averageAmberFriday we had some metabolism52Ran real good on the Mountain Thursday- snow melt may have helped contribute to that. Was dryer in Fairfield. Caught the sap Thursday night but what came in overnight and was boiled on Friday sap changed and had metabolism
LamoilleAverage1.5Below averageDarkNo62Dark season. Last 2 boilings were Very Dark grade and typical strong flavor. This warm weather is not good.  buds are becoming. Too pronounced. All syrup has been Dark or Very Dark. 
RutlandAverage1.5AverageDarkNo65It is a struggle with warm temperatures continuing all week. Boiling with wood has sapped every last bit of strength from us. Opening those doors when it is 65 to 70 degrees outside is like standing in front of a blast furnace. Awful to say the least. We remain optimistic that next week will bring cooler temps and some semblance of normalcy to this season. 
ChittendenAverage1.5DarkNo68
WindsorAverage1.5Below averageDarkNo75
When the USDA published “Production of Maple Sirup and Sugar (Farmers Bulletin No 1366) in 1923 iron kettles were still in use (although it was recognized that this method rarely produced a quality product).
USDA published “Production of Maple Sirup and Sugar (Farmers Bulletin No 1366) in 1923 and so called “patent evaporators” (iron arch with adjustable draft) were the most efficient equipment of the day.

Cold and snow has momentarily paused the 2021 maple season for those sugar makers still collecting sap. It will be anyone’s guess how much longer the season will last when sap begins to flow again.

3/12-3/24

The timeless tools ensuring quality syrup include an accurate thermometer and hydrometer that has been recently tested by a trusted source.

A period of unseasonably warm weather settled on Vermont over the past week to week and a half.  While this brought sap flow to all sugaring operations the lack of recharge inducing freeze events has given some reason for concern about the season ending prematurely. 

A Windsor County sugar maker reports “Average” rates of sap flow over the past week.  Sap sweetness has been 2%, which is considered “below average” at this location.  Syrup produced has been Golden/Delicate with no off-flavors detected.  Total production had reached 40% as of 3/22.  The producer added:

              “the sap flow is much slower than other years. The Grade is starting to go down so I expect Amber today”

In Sullivan County, NH (just north of Keene) a sugar maker reports sap running “Very Well” as of 3/22.  Sap sweetness was averaging 2% which is considered “average” for this operation.  Syrup produced has been Golden/Delicate during this time with no off-flavors detected.  Total production had reached 36% of the anticipated total as of 3/22.  This sugar maker added:

              “Very late season. Will be too hot later this week so expect below average crop, but uncertain.”

In Rutland County a sugar maker reported on 3/22 that sap had been running “Very well”.  Sap sweetness was 2% which is considered “average” for this operation.  Syrup produced has been Golden/Delicate with no off-flavors.  Total production had reached 25% as of 3/22.  This producer added:

              “The season seems to still be getting started but now the weather has turned way to warm during the days. Almost 70! Turns boiling into a stress test! Below freezing at night has kept the sap running but the warm temps slow the flows considerably. Getting enough to boil but not the volume we should have if the temps were not so warm. Making golden still but anticipate a change to Amber with the warm temps continuing we just can’t hold it. Need to see some temperature changes and none is projected for the rest of the week! Hope they’re wrong!”

In Addison County, a sugar maker reported “average” rates of sap flow and sap sweetness at 1.5%.  This is considered “significantly below average” for sap sweetness at this location.  Syrup produced has been Dark/Robust with no off-flavors.  As of 3/22 total production had reached 6% of the anticipated total. 

A Chittenden County sugar maker reported sap running “Very well” and sap sweetness averaging 2% over the past week.  2% is considered “Average” sap sweetness at this operation.  Syrup produced has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 28% at this location.

A Franklin County sugar maker reported on 3/22 sap had been running “very well”.  Sap sweetness was 1.5% which was considered “Below average” for this operation.  Syrup graded as Golden/Delicate with no off-flavors.  On 3/22 this producer had reached 20% of the anticipated crop and added:

              “The geese are flying north” 

A second Franklin County sugar maker reported on 3/22 that sap had been running at “average” rates.  Sap sweetness was 1.5% over the same period which is considered “average” at this location.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production had reached 22% at this location as of 3/22.  The sugar maker added:

              “Things opened up on 3/21”

In Caledonia County a producer reported tapping started on 2/8 and was 50% completed on 3/16.  The sap flow over the past week has been “average” at this location and sap sweetness coming in at 2%, which is considered “below average” for this operation.  Syrup produced over the past week has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors detected.  This sugar maker reports reaching 35% of the anticipated crop. 

A second Caledonia County sugar maker reports “Average” rates of sap flow over the past week and sap sweetness averaging 1.2% or below. This is considered “Significantly below average” for this operation.  Syrup produced during this time has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 14% of anticipated total.  This sugar maker added the following on 3/23:

“Weak sap, very few tree well(s) open.”    

An Orleans County sugar maker reported on 3/22 that sap had been running at “average” rates and was 1.5% sweetness which was also considered “average” for this operation.  Syrup produced during this time was Dark/Robust with no off-flavors.  Total production had reached 12% of the anticipated total as of 3/22.  This sugar maker added:

              “Have only boiled 3 days so far. First two days the syrup was hard to filter. Weather this week looks promising.”

A Lamoille County sugar maker in a warm location reports sap flowing “Very well” over the last week.  Sap sweetness was averaging 1.5% at this location, which is considered “Below Average” for this operation.  Syrup produced has been Dark/Robust with no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 45% of the anticipated crop.  This sugar maker added the following:

“Entire crop so far has been Dark grade, but with very good flavor comparable to Amber Rich. Niter is very dark to black. Deep concern over upcoming 4 days forecast of highs near 70, with no freezing overnight.”

A Lamoille County sugar maker in a cold location reports “average” rates of sap flow over the past week with sap sweetness averaging 2%; which is considered “below average” for this operation.  Syrup produced has been mostly Amber/Rich with no off-flavors over the past week.  The

“No big sap runs yet. Would have expected more sap considering the weather and high vacuum. Just started to get niter in the last couple of boils. Only made 2 barrels of Golden/Delicate out of 26 barrels. Very nice flavor for all syrup.” 

An Orleans County sugar maker reported on 3/22 sap had been running at “average” rates.  Sap sweetness was 1.5% which was considered “below average” for this operation.  Syrup produced has been Dark/Robust with no off-flavors.  Total production was reported as reaching 12% of the anticipated total as of 3/22 and the sugar maker added:

              “Have only boiled 3 days so far. First two days the syrup was hard to filter. Weather this week looks promising.”

In Essex County a sugar maker reported on 3/22 that sap had been running at “average” rates.  Sap sweetness was 2%; which is considered “average” at this location.  Syrup produced has been Dark/Robust with no off-flavors.  Total production had reached 10% of the anticpated crop as of 3/22.  This produced added:

              “slow start. sap isn’t running as much as i expected with the warm weather.”

In Quebec (SW of Montreal), a sugar maker reported on 3/22 that sap had been running at “average” rates and sap sweetness was at 1.5% which was also considered “average”.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich during that period and had no off-flavors.  Total production was 26% of the anticipated total on 3/22 and the sugar maker shared the following comment about how the season was progressing:

              “Discouraged”

3/5-3/11

March 2020 high and low temperature (F) compared to March 2021 high and low temperatures. From March 1-18, 2020 there were 14 days where the actual high temperature in Underhill Center was above the long term average. In 2021 over that same period of time, only 6 days had high temperatures above long term averages.
Click and drag arrows left or right to compare temperature data.

The 2021 maple season continues its slow start in many locations. Coming off of 2020 where March was generally warmer than average, the cool temperatures have made significant sap flow events seem scarce.  As of 3/18 warm temperatures have arrived and it is expected to continue for the next week or more. The concern about high temperatures reaching significantly above average remains, especially in warmer locations around the state. The abundant snow pack that has been reported across the State impacting tapping and repairing tubing systems has been significantly reduced in many areas over the past two weeks. 

An Addison County sugar maker reported no sap flow in the week before 3/5 and no syrup produced to date.

A Chittenden County sugar maker reported on 3/8 that tapping was 50% complete as of 3/7 and that sap had not been running the week before.  What sap has been collected has averaged 1.5% which is considered “significantly below average” for this location.  No syrup had been produced at this operation as of 3/8.

A second Chittenden County sugar maker reported on 3/11 that “average” rates of sap flow had been observed over the past week.  Sap was 1.5% sugar which is considered “average” for this location.  Syrup produced has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors detected.  Total production had reached 7% of the anticipated crop for this operation as of 3/11.

A Franklin County sugar maker reported “average” rates of sap flow over the past week.  Sap sweetness was 1.25 or below and syrup made with that sap was graded as Dark/Robust with no off-flavors.  Total production at this location has reached 3% of the anticipated total.

In Lamoille County a sugar maker in a colder than average location reported on 3/7 average rates of sap flow in the week before.  Sap sweetness was 1.25% or less and total production had reached 1% at this location.  The producer added the following:  

              “Finished tapping earlier than most years. Snow was a problem towards the end due to the depth and fact that it never settled all winter. Very little damage due to trees falling or due to animal chews. Look forward to making syrup this week.”

In Orleans County a producer reported just a minor amount of sap flow in the week prior to 3/5.  Sap sweetness was recorded as 1.25%.

              “We finished tapping on February 28th and we did have some sap run for about 24 hours starting that afternoon, but we did not collect it and it has been cold since. Snow pack is much less here than in previous years but deep to walk in since you sink all the way to the ground.”

In Quebec (SW of Montreal) a producer reported no sap flow in the week prior to 3/5 and no syrup made to date.  This sugar maker added the following to describe the season so far:

              “Tough sledding”

Sap drips from sugar maple (Acer sacccharum) twig. The sap flow has been modest in the early stages of the 2021 maple season. When it does start running, the mechanism is initially driven by the fine twigs and branches whose relatively small mass is more responsive to changes in air temperature compared to larger parts of the tree. The stem still needs to be at least partially thawed to conduct sap.

2021 Vermont Maple Bulletin

12/16/20-3/4/21

Accumulated Growing Degree Days (GDD, Base 32F) as of February 21, 2020 (left) and March 4th 2021 (right). GDD are calculated by taking the daily high temp-daily low temp/base value. Anything above the base value adds to the total GDD.

Welcome to the 2021 Vermont Maple Bulletin.  Thank you to all the sugar makers who have continued their support for this project by reports from around the state (and beyond).  The 2021 season has begun with some producers even making syrup back in December 2020.  It has been a cold and snowy winter for sure with many sugar makers reporting slow going in the woods while tapping or making repairs and little or no significant sap flow to date.  This is in contrast to last year where early season temperatures were relatively mild in comparison to 2019.  It would appear that everyone is primed and ready for the season to get rolling.  Good luck to everyone. 

A Bennington County sugar maker reports tapping got underway on 2/20 and was 50% complete on 2/20.   This producer added the following on 2/24:

              “We’re running a bit behind with everything this year. Tapping is slow going with greater-than-average snow depths. We’re about 80% tapped. It ran some yesterday but we opted to let that sap run on the ground and keep tapping. Our hope is to be up and running by the warm weather this weekend.”

A second Bennington County sugar maker reports tapping started at their location on 2/17 and was 50% completed on 2/21.  On 2/25 this producer reported:

              “Sap is just dribbling, not really running. I tested a couple of different bushes – one was 1.2%, the other was 1.5%”

In Windsor County a sugar maker reports tapping began on 2/21 and was 50% completed on 2/24.  No sap flow was reported at this location as of 2/25.

In Rutland County, a producer reports tapping began on 2/19 and was 50% complete on 2/26.  This operation has seen some sap flow (average rates) and was 1.25% which is considered average for this location at this time in the season.  On 2/27 this sugar maker added the following:

              “Tapping progresses slowly due to difficult walking conditions in the woods. Started out tapping on snowshoes. First time in quite a few years. Sap has just started to flow so haven’t boiled yet. The weather has warmed quite rapidly and doesn’t drop much at night.”

In Addison County a producer reported tapping began on 1/13/21 and was 50% completed on 1/15.  This producer had enough sap flow to make approximately 1% of the anticipated crop.

A second Addison County sugar maker reported tapping began on 1/13 and was 50% completed by 2/6.  This producer did not report any sap flow or syrup production to date and added this about how the season was progressing:

“TONS of snow in the sugarbush.  Rough going on snow shoes.”

In Chittenden County a sugar maker reports starting tapping on 12/28/20 and being 50% completed on 1/29.  No syrup production was reported at this location as of 2/24.

A second Chittenden County producer reported tapping began on 1/15 and was 50% complete on 1/19.  The sap was running at “average rates” on the week of 3/1 and sap sweetness was 1.5% which is considered average by this producer.  Syrup has been produced at this location and was Dark/Robust with no off-flavors detected.  As of 3/1 this location has produced roughly 10% of the anticipated crop.  The sugar maker added the following to describe how the season is progressing:

              “Late start”

Many sugar makers have reported a slow start to the 2021 season. Some is due to cold temperatures and some is due to deep snow in the woods making tapping/repairs a long process.

A Franklin County sugar maker reported tapping began on 1/19/21 and was 50% by 1/19/21.  This producer reported on 1/19 that:

 “We are moving quickly through the woods tapping with 3-6” of snow.  It’s awesome.

A second Franklin County sugar maker reported tapping started on 12/15/20 and was 50% complete on 1/14/21.  This producer reports having a run of sap on Christmas Day which produced “Very nice flavored 1st run syrup”.  This producer reported no sap flow on the week of 2/24.

A Franklin County sugar maker reported tapping began on 1/12 and was 50% complete by 1/22.  This producer reported on 2/24 that some sap averaging 1.25% sugar had been collected and produced Golden/Delicate syrup with no off-flavors.  This sugar maker added:

              “Sap ran a little today (2/24), but nothing to write home about.”

In Lamoille County a producer in a cold area reports started tapping on 1/18.21 and 50% complete on 2/1.  This sugar maker reported on 1/20 that it was:

              “tough tapping with all the snow on trees but not too much snow and weather is cooperating, at least for this week.”

On 2/24 this producer reported reaching 1% of the anticipated crop and added:

              “Finished tapping on 15 Feb. Turned on vacuum for the first time on 24 Feb and walked lines. Sap ran a little today allowed it to dump.”

A second Lamoille County producer reported starting tapping on 2/22/21 and being 50% done with tapping on 2/23.   

In Caledonia County a producer reported on 1/19 they starting to tap on 1/6 and being 50% done with tapping on 1/19.  At the time the producer considered it “easy tapping and a low snow year”. 

A second Caledonia County producer reported tapping started on 1/6 and was 50% complete on 1/20.  On 2/24 this producer reported no syrup production yet and when asked to comment on how the season was progressing gave this two-word response “Hard walking”

An Orleans County producer reports tapping began on 2/7 and was 50% complete on 2/16.  No sap flow has been reported as of 2/24 at this location.

In Quebec (SW of Montreal) a producer reported tapping began on 1/11/21 and beginning 50% completed on 1/19.

4/11-4/30

DSC_9336
“Sugar maple (acer saccharum) seed has an extremely high germination capacity, with averages of 95 percent or more. The optimum temperature for germination is about 32F. Seedling numbers greater than 150,000/acre are possible, although as many as 50% won’t survive the first year”…From Godman et al. Silvics of North America, USFS 1990

Reports of average or above average syrup production have been common across Vermont in 2020.  This includes producers who also reported below average sap sweetness as well as those that saw average levels of sap sweetness.  Reports of below average production have been received but are not widespread.  Syrup quality appears to have been very good in 2020.  There have been some reports of typical late season “mother-nature” off-flavors such as Buddy and Sour but these reports are far from universal.  While it appears the 2020 Vermont maple production will be at or above average the final totals won’t be known for some time.  Best way to ensure the most accurate report is to fill out the USDA NASS survey.  This information is published in June and is important for determining the size and importance of the maple industry.  If you have not received the survey visit: www.agcounts.usda.gov/static/get-counted.html for more information.  “The Information you provide is kept confidential by law, Title 7, U.S. Code and will not be disclosed to any other government or private entity.”

Thank you to the many sugar makers who have contributed information to this years Vermont Maple Bulletin.  If you are interested in contributing next year, contact University of Vermont Extension Maple Specialist Mark Isselhardt at mark.isselhardt@uvm.edu.

In Addison County a sugar maker reported ending the season on 4/12.  Average sap sweetness was significantly below long term average at this location.  Total production reached 115% of the anticipated total.

A second Addison County sugar maker reported ending the season on 4/6.  Season long sap sweetness was below average at this location.  Total production reached 100% of the Anticipated total.  Syrup flavor was good all season long.

A Chittenden County sugar maker reported on 4/20 the season had ended.  Sap sweetness at the end was 1.25% or less.  Compared to long term averages, this seasons sap sweetness was “average”.  Amber color syrup with Buddy off-flavor had been produced.  Total season production reached 105% of the anticipated total.

In Lamoille County a producer in a relatively warm location reported season long sap sweetness was significantly below long term average but still producing 100% of the anticipated crop.  They also report ending the season on 4/4.  They add:

“Our season finished on 11 April. We had a very poor April – our worst ever but made up for it with a very good March. We could have boiled several more times but it was boiling very hard and was no longer Grade A so we stopped collecting sap. Sap continued to run for several days but was typical late season sap – full of solids and about 1% sap.”

A second Lamoille County producer, in a relatively cold location, reported ending the season on 4/11.  Sap sweetness this season was average compared to long term averages at this location.  The last syrup produced was Very Dark in color and Processing Grade given the detection of off-flavor. Total production reached 110% of the anticipated total.

 In Orleans County a sugar maker ended production on 4/12.  Sap sweetness had dropped to 0.8.  Compared to long term averages, this seasons sap sweetness was “average”. Dark/Robust syrup was produced with no off-flavors and total production had reached 100% of the anticipated total.

A sugar maker in Essex County reported continued sap collection as of 4/20.  Compared to long term averages, this seasons sap sweetness was “average”.  Off-flavored syrup had begun to be detected.  At that time syrup production had reached 115% of the anticipated total.

A second Essex County sugar maker reported finishing off the last of run of sap and boiling out the pans on 4/28.

4/2-4/10

March temps
Average Vermont March temperature (Degrees C) 2000-2020. NOAA National Centers for Environmental information, Climate at a Glance: Statewide Time Series

The majority of producers have reported reaching the end of the 2020 season while a few in colder/northern areas are continuing to make syrup.  Many have remarked that the season was warm and relatively short but that production was about as anticipated.  A few observed season long sap sweetness below or significantly below long-term averages.  Of those who saw relatively low sap sweetness, a few saw overall, good rates of sap flow and therefore good syrup production.

A Bennington County sugar maker reports ending the season on 3/27.  Season long sap sweetness was below average at this location compared to long-term average.  The total production was 84% of the anticipated total.

“Season over as of 3/27. Sold sap in the last week o0f March b/c I was tired of making VDS with the emphasis on “V”.  (Secondhand report of a producer in a higher elevation/colder area) was still getting sap as of 4/6. Mixed reports on the season depending on vacuum. bush orientation and elevation. Generally, sap sweetness seemed to be low. Big maple seed year.”

A second Bennington County producer reports finishing the 2020 season (4/2).  They add:

“…We averaged 28.2 gallons of sap per tap, which is about 6/gpt more than last year. And this year’s season was 4-days longer than last. And yet, we made around the same amount of syrup both years on account of this year’s lower sugar content.”

In Rutland County reports ending the 2020 production season on 4/4.  The last sap to be collected averaged a sap sweetness of 1.25% or less.  Syrup produced during that time was Very Dark/Strong with no off-flavors.  Compared to long-term averages, this years sap sweetness has been average.  Total production reached 100% of the anticipated total for this operation.  This sugar maker adds:

“Last Boil 4/4. Made very dark that was still good tasting but the volume of sap had dropped to low levels. Make a full crop. Very good year. Sap sugar held until the last week at 1.5 or above. Consistently 2% for most of the season. Large amounts of niter held until the end. Filtering the last 2 barrels was really a chore. overall it was a really good season with a lot of great tasting syrup made. We are pleased and have started pulling taps 4/6 and plan to finish 4/11.”

A sugar maker in Sullivan County, NH reports sap sweetness significantly lower than the long term average.  Sap sweetness ranged from 1.0-1.7% during the 2020 season with the average being 1.4%.  The last syrup made at this location was Dark/Robust with sour sap off-flavor reported the last three days.  Total production reached 90% of the anticipated total for this operation.  This producer adds:

“(Syrup yield was) 4.5 lbs/ tap which is less than previous 2 years. Syrup grade was 50% Golden, 40% Amber & 5% Dark. Nearly all good flavor. No buddy.”

A Windsor County sugar maker reports ending production on 4/1.  The sweetness of the last runs of sap were 1.25%.  Overall the sap sweetness was below average this season compared to the long-term average.  The last syrup produced was Very Dark/Strong with no off-flavors.  Total production for this operation reached 149% of the anticipated total.  This producer added the following on 4/9:

  “It was an excellent season in quantity and quality. We are cleaning up now.”

In Addison County a producer reports average rates of sap flow and sap sweetness at 1.5%.  Syrup produced with this sap was Dark/Robust with no off-flavors detected.  This season, sap sweetness has been below average compared to long term averages.  Total production has reached 95% of the anticipated total.

A second Addison County producer reported average rates of sap flow over the past 10 days.  Sap sweetness was 1.5% during that time.  Season long sap sweetness has been significantly below average at this location.  Syrup produced during this time has been Dark/Robust with an undisclosed off-flavor.  Total production has reached 115% of the anticipated total.

A third Addison County producer provided a report.  No sap flow was seen over the last 10 days.  The last sap that was collected was 1.25% or less.  Season long sap sweetness was significantly below long-term averages for this operation.  The syrup produced was Very Dark/Strong with no off-flavors.  Total production reached 90% of the anticipated total at this location.  This producer adds:

“ March Temperatures were too high for a good production year.”

A Chittenden County sugar maker reports sap flow ended on the evening of 4/5 at that time sap sweetness had reached 1.5%.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Overall, sap sweetness was average compared to long-term averages.  Total production was 115% of anticipated crop.  This producer adds:

“Last boil and boil-out of pans was 4/6/2020, about 5-10 days ahead of normal. Good season overall, 15% above average.”

Another Chittenden County producer reports average rates of sap flow and sap sweetness dipping to 1.25% or less.  Season long sap sweetness was average compared to long-term averages.  Syrup made recently was Dark/Robust with an off-flavor (off-flavor not defined).  Total production has reached 96% of the anticipated crop.

DSC_3140
Syrup color layering in sample jars.  Layering appears to be more likely in samples with abundant headspace.

In Franklin County sap has been flowing very well.  During this time sap sweetness was averaging 1.5%.  Season long sap sweetness has been below long-term average at this location.  Production in warmer stands is “near complete” and still continuing in colder stands.  Syrup produced by this operation has been Amber with Very Dark syrup flavor.  Total production has reached 93% of the anticipated total for this operation.  This producer added this on 4/9:

“Upper bushes will hopefully respond to the weather pattern coming in.” 

In Lamoille County a sugar maker reports sap flowing at average rates and sweetness at 1.5%.  This season sap sweetness has been average compared to long-term averages.  Syrup produced was Dark/Robust with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 103% of the anticipated total.  This sugar maker adds:

“The sap is still running although just barely. Sugar content is finally about 1.5% which makes for very small boils. Still no off flavors detected. I suspect Monday the 14th will be our last day. This year was our worst April ever by a long ways but a great March made our season!

An Orleans County sugar maker reports average rates of sap flow over the past nine days.  Sap sugar sweetness has been around 2% during that time although most recently the sap had dipped below 2%.  Compared to the long-term average at this location sap sweetness has been average this season.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich and no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 90% of the anticipated crop at this location.  This producer adds:

“Record number of sequential days of boiling. On 4/6 sap sweetness dropped below 2.0 and syrup trended darker.”

In Essex County a producer reports sap flowing very well and sap sweetness averaging 1.5%.  Compared to long-term the sap sweetness this season has been average. Syrup produced recently was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 95% of the anticipated total.  This producer adds:

“Above average year for us. The good flavor has held for the whole season.”

In an area of Quebec SW of Montreal a producer reports sap flow at average rates and sap sweetness at 1.25% or below.  Sap sweetness this season has been average compared to long-term averages.  Syrup produced has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 104% of the anticipated total at this location.

3/21-4/1

DSC_0358

The season is reaching the end for producers in warmer areas and still going strong for those who make syrup in colder climates.  Sap sugar concentration is dropping, which follows the season-long pattern of starting low, raising to a high point and then declining towards the end.  So far there have been no syrup quality issues reported.  Sap quality will decline in relation to contamination from bacteria, yeast and mold.  These microorganisms multiply exponentially with increasing holding time and air temperature.  Changes in sap quality can happen rapidly.  It’s also important to recognize that sap can degrade after filtering so fast processing and keeping sap/concentrate cool is essential for maintaining syrup quality.

bacteria graph

yeast and mold graph
Figures 5 and Figure 6 from “Effects of various filters on sap quality and characteristics” by Lachance et al. 2008, Maple Syrup Digest, pp 23-43.  Full article can be found by searching for “sap filters” at http://www.mapleresearch.org

In Bennington County, a sugar maker reports average sap flow.  Sap sweetness was 1.25% or less during this time.  Compared to the long term average at this location this season sap sweetness is below average.  Syrup produced during this period was Dark/Robust with no off-flavors.  This operation has reached 100% of the anticipated crop for the year.  This producer adds:

“Season just about done in southwestern Vermont. Our sap to syrup ratio this year was 63:1; last year it was 51:1. But this season has been longer, and thus we were able to compensate for the low sugar with more sap.”

In Rutland County a sugar maker reports average rates of sap flow over the past +10 days and sap sweetness averaging 1.5%.  Compared to long term the average for this operation, the sap sweetness this season has been average.  Syrup made during this time has been Dark/Robust with on off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 98% of the anticipated crop.  This producer adds:

“We had some amazing sap flows for this late in the season last week after a substantial freeze. Sap has slowed considerably now as of 3/30. Boiling every other day. Until yesterday 4/2, syrup was Dark now it has changed to Very Dark. We are very close to the end. Niter has remained high and relatively light in color. Surprising for this time of season. Temperatures have remained relatively cool lower 40’s during the day with only a few days with sun. Have had several nights where it did make freezing still. While visual checks show some trees have stopped running, most are still giving sap and spouts are relatively clean. Also surprising for this time of season. We do expect the last boil any day now!”

A producer in Addison County reports sap flowing very well and sap sweetness averaging 1.5% during that time.  Season-long sap sweetness has been average compared to long-term averages at this location.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors during this period.  Total production has reached 90% of the anticipated total.

In Windsor County a sugar maker reports average rates of sap flow.  Sap sweetness has averaged 1.5% over this time.  This is below the long term average for this location.  Syrup produced was Dark/Robust with no off-flavors.  Total production at this location has reached 100% of the anticipated crop.  This producer adds:

“Bumper crop year”

In Chittenden County a producer reports average rates of sap flow and sap sweetness at 2%.  This producer repots sap sweetness as being average this season compared to their long-term average.  Syrup produced during this period has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors reported.  Total production has reached 85% of the expected crop.  This producer adds the following detail:

“Season is going well. Production should end up somewhat above average. Sap sugar perhaps just slightly below average. Hopefully we’ll get another 1-2 weeks.” 

A second Chittenden County sugar maker reports that sap was running very well over the same period.  Sap sweetness averaged 1.5% during this time.  Season long sap sweetness was reported as being average.  Syrup produced is now Dark/Robust at this location with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 79% of the expected crop.

In Lamoille County an operation reports average sap flow rates over the past week plus.  Sap sweetness is reported to be significantly below average at this location.  Syrup produced during this time has been Dark/Robust with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 100% of the anticipated crop at this location.  This producer adds the following detail to summarize:

“80% of my crop is Amber, 20% Dark. Last 3 days we boiled were all Dark, but nice flavor. March 26 – 28 good run, 26th was Excellent. 26th & 27th actually got up to 1.8 & 2.0% sap, but then dropped back to 1.6 on the 28th. Lowest sap sugar I’ve seen here, maybe ever. No complaints on yield, though, very happy with production. Looking for a couple days this next week, but no good weather is forecast after mid-week. could be close to the end.”  

A second Lamoille County sugar maker reports average rates of sap flow over the last week and a half.  Sap sweetness was 2% over this period.  Season long sap sweetness has been average at this location.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 75% at this location.  This producer adds:

“We have had a very good year so far. We are about 75% of a crop so far. At this time last year we were only about 25% of a crop. Syrup has been half Amber and half Golden. Lots of niter making cleanups very difficult but all in all it has been a very good year.”

 

A sugar maker in Orleans County saw sap flowing very well over the past week, plus.  Compared to long term averages, the sap sweetness at this location has been average.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 60% of the anticipated total.  This producer adds:

“Steady sap runs since last Wednesday (3/25)”  

In Essex County, a sugar maker reports sap running very well.  Overall, the season sap sweetness has been above the long term average at this location.  The syrup produced has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 64% of the anticipated total.  This producer adds:

“The flavor this year has been very good.”

A producer in an area SW of Montreal reports sap running very well.  Sap sweetness was 1.5% during this time.  So far this season sap sweetness has been average compared to long term averages for this operation.  Syrup production was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 75% of the anticipated total.  This sugar maker adds the following comment about how the season is going:

“Stressful”  

A second Quebec sugar maker in an area near Quebec City reports average sap flow rates recently.  Sap sweetness was 2.5% or higher during this time.  So far this season sap sweetness has been above the long term average at this location.  Syrup grade has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 18% of the anticipated total.  This producer adds the following about the season so far:

“Slow start”

3/16-3/20

 

Annotation 2020-03-23 132012
Observed 2020 high and low (degrees F) March temperatures (and long term average high and low) in Burlington, Vermont.

The 2020 sugaring season has proven to be warmer than the recent past.  Sap flow has continued across Vermont despite unprecedented changes in our communities.  Most areas are nearing the halfway point of the season with some in the colder areas closer to a quarter to a third of the way to the expected total crop.  So far, no issues with off-flavored syrup have been reported.

A Bennington County sugar maker reports sap running very well over the past week and sap sweetness averaging 1.5%.  Syrup grade made at this location was Very Dark/Strong during this time.  Total production has reached 50% of the anticipated crop.  This producer adds the following:

“Made a lot of Very Dark/Strong syrup but it didn’t have a strong or bitter taste.”

In Rutland County, a maple producer saw sap running very well over the past week and sap sweetness averaging 2%.  Syrup grade was Dark/Robust with no off-flavors.  This operation has reached 65% of the anticipated crop.  They also add the following:

“Niter has increased. Both the baked on kind and the sand dunes in the draw off box kind. Every boil we get almost back to Amber by the time we shut down. It is warm temps that are affecting the classification this year.”

One Addison County producer reports sap running very well over the past week and sap sweetness averaging about 1.5%.  Syrup produced at this location was Golden/Delicate with no off-flavors.  This operation has reached 51% of the expected crop.

A second Addison County operation reports sap flowing very well over the past week.  Sap sweetness averaged 2% over that time.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors during that time.  Total production has reached 33% of the expected crop.

A third Addison County sugar maker reports sap running very well.  Sap sweetness was 1.5% over that time.  Syrup grade was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 55% of the expected crop.

In Windsor County a sugar maker reports sap flowing very well over the last week.  Sap sweetness averaged 1.5% and syrup produced with that sap was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production reached 80% at this location.

In Chittenden County, a sugar maker reports average sap flow over the past week and sap sweetness at 2% during that time.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 60% of the anticipated crop.

A second Chittenden County producer reports sap running very well over the past week and sap sweetness at 2% during that time.  Syrup made with that sap has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 47% of the expected crop.

 

A Franklin County operation reports average rates of sap flow over the last week and sap sweetness at 2%.  Total production has reached 31% at this location and no off-flavors have been detected.

In Lamoille County a producer in a cold area reports sap flowing very well over the past week and sap sweetness averaging 1.5%.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 36% of the expected crop.  This sugar maker adds that there was “lots of sugar sand”.

“Friday’s March 13 sugar content dropped off significantly 1.2%. Thursday and Friday’s great sap run. Due to the coronavirus we have let our help go. We will try to run our operation with just the two of us, from past experience we will definitely have a smaller crop with less help.”

A second Lamoille County producer (in a relatively warm location) reports sap running “very well” and sap sweetness averaged 1.5%.  Syrup made during this time was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production reached 63% of the anticipated crop.  This producer adds the following detail:

“This past week was exceptional. Heavy runs 3 days straight. Actually began Tuesday around 2:00pm and ran through the night and all day Wednesday. Amber grade, though it dropped barely into Dark on the 13th, but bounced right back on the 14th. The 12th and 13th were two of the heaviest production days I’ve seen…ever. The sap lingers around 1.5 – 1.6% sugar. Flavor – Excellent”

A third Lamoille County operation reports sap running very well and averaging 2.25% sweetness.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 33%.  This sugar maker adds:

“No huge runs last week but still not a bad week considering we didn’t even boil for the first time until 16 March last year and we’ve already boiled nine times this year. We are cautiously optimistic.”

In Orleans County a producer saw average rates of sap flow with an average sweetness of 2%.  Syrup produced has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 25% of the anticipated crop.

“Weather seemed too cold and windy for sap to run like it did at the end of the week. Syrup has excellent flavor so far.”

 

3/6-3/12

March 12 GGD
Warm weather has increased the accumulated growing degree days (GDD) in southern Vermont counties and south.  A base value of 32F is used since plants growing in northerly latitudes begin the complex and measured exit from dormancy starting at temperatures above freezing.  The higher the GDD the closer an area is to spring bud break. 

The sap flow has ramped up across the state over the past week with producers in warmer locations report reaching 30-50% of the expected crop whereas in the colder locations around Vermont the numbers are in the single digits.  The forecast looks good for much of the state over the next week.  Areas to the south of Vermont have reported good yields for producers who were tapped and ready when the ideal sugaring weather arrived.

A producer in Massachusetts not far from the border with Vermont reports:

“For those down here who tapped mid-January, production has been very good.  Some early runs gave people a chance to get started and ready to roll once things opened up..  That came about 10 days ago and we’ve had about perfect sap weather since then with lots and lots of light syrup being made from crystal clear and very cold sap.  We had a few 48+ hour runs where it never got over mid-30’s.  Today it ran good again but we don’t see any freeze coming for a week, so after that —who knows.  The warm days recently got the bacteria going and the sap is no longer crystal clear, but not too bad either.  As usual, ask me in May and I’ll know a lot more!  If we can get some cold weather and maybe some snow (almost 80% bare ground here) I think the production season will last longer, but otherwise I expect it will be all over before the end of March.”

A Bennington County sugar maker sap running very well over the past week.  Syrup produced has transitioned to Dark/Robust during that time with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 35% of the expected crop.  This producer adds:

“Biggest runs have been at night.”

A Rutland County sugar maker reports sap running very well over the past week, with sap sweetness averaging 2%.  Syrup produced with this sap has been graded as Amber/Rich with no off-flavors detected.  Total production has reached 50% of the anticipated crop as of 3/10.  This producer adds the following detail:

“We have our vacuum really up this year and are seeing the advantages of that. It doesn’t seem to matter that it doesn’t freeze a lot at night or gets really warm during the day. It still keeps flowing. Have boiled 6 times and made about half our crop. Brought in over 6,000 gals of sap in less than 24 hours on 3,000 taps (our tap number is down this year). At one point we were bringing in over 300 gals and hour. Quite a rush! Niter has been heavy and really sticks down making clean up long and tedious.”

A Windsor County sugar maker reports sap flowing very well over the past week and sap sweetness at 2%.  Syrup produced has been Golden/Delicate with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 50% of the expected crop.  This producer added:

“excellent season -very fast run this week the 8th, 9th and 10th of March.”

An Addison County producer reports sap flowing very well over the last week and sap sweetness averaging 1.5%.  Syrup produced has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  This operation has reached approximately 12% of the anticipated crop.

A second Addison County operation reports sap running very well over the past week and sap sweetness at 1.5%.  Syrup produced was Golden/Delicate at this location and total yield has reached 26% of the expected crop.

A third Addison County producer reports average rates of sap flow over the past week and sap sweetness at 2.0%.  Syrup produced has been Amber/Rich and total production is reported to have reached 15% of the expected crop.

A Chittenden County operation reports average rates of sap flow and sap sweetness at 2% sugar.  Syrup produced during this time has been Golden/Delicate with no off-flavors and total yield has reached 25% of an expected crop.

A second Chittenden County operation reported getting the last taps in on 3/7.  The sap flow over the last week has been very good at this location and sap sweetness has averaged 2.25%.  Syrup made with this sap was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 6% of a full crop.

csRDS-percent-of-expected-maple-syrup-crop-by-select-vermont-counties-

A third location in Chittenden County reports very good rates of sap flow and syrup produced during this time as Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 30% of the expected crop which equates to a “good start” according to this producer.

In Lamoille County a sugar maker reports average rates of sap flow over the past week.  Sap sweetness was averaging 2.25%.  Syrup made during this time was Golden/Delicate.  Total production is at 25% of the total expected crop.  This producer also added:

“Sap hasn’t flowed all that hard but has been sweet. Just started to get niter. Best early season syrup I remember making.”

A sugarmaker in Orleans County reports finishing tapping on 3/8.  Sap flow was average over the past week and sap sweetness was 2%.  Syrup produced was Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  The operation has reached 2% of the expected crop and this producer offers that it’s “nice to have sap running in March.”

In Essex County a producer reports sap running very well over the past week and sap sweetness at 2%.  Syrup produced over the last week was Dark/Robust with no off-flavors.  Total production has reached 7% of the anticipated crop.  This sugar maker added the following:

“Last year I didn’t make syrup until Late March. This year we started early march.”

In an area southwest of Montreal, a sugar maker reports average rates of sap flow over the past week and sap sweetness at 2% sugar.  Syrup produced during this time has been Amber/Rich with no off-flavors.  Total production at this location has reached 15% of the anticipated crop.

IMG_9518
Somewhere during each sugaring season everything starts take on an amber glow however this picture was made by pointing the camera through a bottle of pure maple syrup.