The season is now underway statewide. It appears that the south-north temperature gradient that is more typical has reestablished itself. There was as much as a 20 degree temperature difference between the ends of the state this past weekend. The graphs below show observed temperatures in Bennington (top graph) and Derby (bottom graph).
Bennington County saw some sap flow last Monday (15th) as well as runs on Sat-Sun (20-21st). A ‘surprise’ run on Monday also yielded some sap for producers. Sap sugar content was 2.1 and grade dark with no off flavors was made by one producer.
The word from Lamoille County (as of Saturday 20th) is that although many producers were fully tapped or nearly so, only the largest producers in Lamoille County had made any syrup to speak of.
A Starksboro producer (Addison County) with a sugarbush between 1600-2000 feet in elevation (average to cold temperatures) and just over 3000 taps, finished tapping on the 17th and collected a small amount of sap on the 21st.
In central Vermont the story is similar, almost fully tapped, ready to turn the vacuum pumps on and start collecting sap (likely the 24th).
One large (80,000 taps) Franklin County producer reports good production from low elevation trees but not much from higher elevations. To date they have made 5,000 gallons of good flavored Amber and Dark syrup. Sap sugar content has been good, around 2.0 brix.
The report from Orleans County has some producers just beginning to tap. A lack of deep snow has made tapping easy compared to other years. As of Monday, no sap was flowing at an operation in Morgan considered cold (1200-1800 feet elevation).
A producer in Cannan (Essex County) reports the first run of sap came on February 2nd when temperatures were between 40-44. The sap sugar content was 1.6. Another run on 2/15 was perhaps not as strong as the earlier one and also had 1.6 for sweetness. A third run over the weekend (20th) was minor in volume but the sugar content had risen to 2.0%. Syrup has been Dark and Very Dark.
Looking forward, it appears that temperatures will conducive for sap flow through Thursday night. After that, it looks like the best chance for a run will be Sunday in areas to the south or with relatively warm sugarbushes.