2017 Sugaring Season
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.
Weather conditions continue to be favorable for good sap/syrup production. While we aren't setting any records at this point, we are back to more normal weather patterns for this time of year. It's still plenty early in the season and many years there isn't syrup made by this time in March, at least for our area. In talking with other producers, it looks like northern WI is at about 10% - 15% of a crop, right around here we're at about 30% or better and further south 50% or better.
For the 22nd of March I think we're on target to have a good crop again, and to this point, the quality has been great. Keep on cooking and good luck everyone.
Now that we're coming out of this cold weather, I hope everyone took the time to get your equipment cleaned up, your lines in the woods put back in place (after that wind storm), and some much needed sleep because the forecast looks great for the next few weeks. For those on buckets that tapped early – keep an eye on those holes and if they seem to be slowing up, just pull your spouts and gently run your drill bit in an out again to help freshen them up.
Good luck everyone and don’t miss a drop!
The crazy weather continues - I think the trees in our area finally woke up the past few days have been giving us some good runs. It always helps to have a thunderstorm followed by some snow, and that's exactly what happened here last night.
Nearly everyone has made some syrup by now and have been reporting great runs the past 24 to 48 hours. I did talk with a couple producers in Ohio and they're having another poor year like they did last year, while other parts of the country are still optimistic because the long range forecasts look favorable.
If you have't had much sleep the last few nights because of cooking, it appears you'll be able to catch up the rest of the week as the highs aren't predicted to go above 30 until early next week.
I would guess that by now most of you have tapped and have probably even made a little syrup. The season is off to a slow start, but it's still just the 1st of March and weather patterns appear to be heading back closer to normal conditions. If you have not tapped yet, now is the time (I'm more confident now than last week).
The 10 day forecast looks good, with freezing nights and most days topping out above 35. Beyond that, it looks like some rain and snow mix, which is perfect for sap production.
I have to laugh - someone told me earlier this week that New York is reporting a terrible crop, as they've only made 25% of what they normally do. My response? WOW 25% of a crop is great as it's not even March yet.
It continues to be an odd early season. The snowstorm at the end of last week missed us to the south so with no snow cover, I think it's time to tap if you have not already done so. The forecast appears to be favorable after the low temperatures we had this past weekend. Good luck everyone.
Although it's still early February – with the unseasonably warm weather we have been having many large producers around the state and country, including us, have started to put taps in. I think that if you're using a tubing system that is closed and tight to keep the elements out you likely won't suffer from tapping early.
For those of you on buckets or bags, I would recommend holding off another week to see what the forecast is. Open taps tend to heal much faster, so you don’t want to have old holes when the best part of the season comes.
Good luck everyone and happy tapping.