2014 Sugaring Season
After one of the best syrup making seasons on record, we're gearing up for another spring of making that sweet maple syrup. Continue to check back regularly to see weather updates for our area, as
well as regular updates on how our sap run is progressing.
Short and long term weather forecasts are one of a syrup producer's best tools to help them prepare for a sap run. Cold nights below freezing with daytime temps above freezing will always get that sap moving. In addition, a falling barometric pressure that accompanies an approaching storm will also increase the local sap run.
These are strictly observations on what's happening in our area and generalizations on what we THINK will happen. Please note that every area is different and should therefore be tapped accordingly.
The crop in our area is approaching the half way point. With 15 inches of snow yesterday, we still feel our season is far from over and that we have plenty of time to get the other half of our crop. Other parts of the country are reporting close to average seasons, with some of the southern areas coming in a little less than average. Reports are still a little spotty for this time of year, but the northern areas still making syrup are optimistic for an average crop. Many producers are now watching for buds, especially on the soft maples, and pulling taps on those trees to avoid making any substandard maple syrup. We should have a lot more to report early next week, as the weather looks great for the next few days.
I feel like I have said this a lot lately, but the weather does look good this coming week. Many areas south of us are done or are very close to being done, but the deep snow we had all winter may ultimately save the season in our area. We woke up to 20 degrees this morning and weather for the next week looks very promising. My assumption is the next ten days will be our best and our last ten days of the season. We are somewhere between a 1/3 and 1/2 a crop in this area, with other areas reporting similar or better crops. I think when it's all said and done the US crop will be between 75% and 80% of an average year, but most northern states need cool weather this week to make it happen.
This past weekend proved to be a good weekend for us, at least giving us a good start to the season. The warm weather forecast for the middle of this week with no freezing nights is a little scary, and will stop the sap flow for a few days. However, the weather for next weekend looks very good again - another good run is coming soon and the season is still young. Other parts of the country are reporting a similar slow start to their seasons, so we are not alone. Ohio’s season is ending and early reports show an average or close to average crop for that state.
The sap is finally starting to run. We had a good run Wednesday afternoon through the day on Thursday, and our first cooking will be today. The snow overnight will slow things down a little, but the forecast for this coming weekend and into next week looks great. Hold on, here comes another great season!
The trees started to run a little the last two days, but not as much as we had hoped. It does, however, look good for the rest of the week, with a good freeze tonight and then a promising forecast for the rest of the week. As it looks right now, next weekend looks perfect, if the forecast holds up. Don't give up yet - the season is almost here.
I know we've all been waiting for this season to get rolling and it looks like the wait might finally be over. The forecast for the next ten days looks wonderful for sap producing weather, with highs in the upper 30's and low 40's and lows below freezing almost every night. Mix those temperatures in with some forecasted rain and snow and we have a great chance at a week to remember. Make sure all your taps are in, your vacuum pumps are primed and your wood piles are full, as you may not get much of a break for the next couple of weeks. Good luck to all!
Oh how quickly things change. We picked up about 8 inches of new snow last night, which will more than likely slow things a little. We still have a 40 degree day in the forecast for tomorrow, but I would not expect much from it. Next week the highs are only in the 20's so it looks like we'll have at least another 10 days to wait before the start of the season. Pray for sun and things will change fast!
With snow falling early this week and warmer temperatures in the forecast for the end of the week, it's time to make sure you're getting your trees tapped. We'll have all of our taps in this week and ready for the warm up at the end of the week. I still don't think there will be any really big action over the weekend, but things might start to move around in the trees a little more than they have up to this point. Things look to cool back down after that and stay below freezing for a few days again.
Weather conditions in our area look favorable for the rest of the month, but there are only a few days in the upcoming forecast that will be over 32 degrees. We've just starting tapping our trees now and should be finished tapping within the next week or so. For larger operations I would suggest to start getting your equipment ready, as I think the start to the 2014 season may be a couple of weeks away. For small producers, my best suggestion is, as always, to tap just one or two trees and then watch and wait - when they start to let loose, tap the rest of them.