2013 Sugaring Season
After possibly the
worst syrup making season 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.
We're starting the long clean up process today, pulling taps and getting things put away. We thought we would have another run later this week, but it's too warm right now and the trees will not survive the warm weather for anther run. Our totals for the year are average, with just over a 1/2 gallon of syrup per tap. Sugar content started out at 3.4% and the last run was the only run to fall below 2% to 1.9%. The trees gave us 91,000 gallons of sap from our 4,500 taps and produced about 2,400 gallons of syrup.
It has been another crazy few days, with more snow resulting in a lot more sap. We're now up to 75,000 gallons of sap and 1,900 gallons of syrup. We can now say we've had an average year and it looks like another 10 days are yet to come. We are currently at 2.4% sugar content, which is higher than average for what should be the end of the season.
We thought you might like a little more detail about our season. We have about 4,500 taps out in our woods closest to home and have as of today made 1,500 gallons of syrup from about 57,000 gallons of sap. Sugar content started the year out at 3.5% and has just recently fallen to 2.4%. We expect on an average year to make about 2,200 gallons of syrup from this woods and that is generally about 110,000 gallons of sap. It appears that this year we will reach our average syrup production with no trouble, but it will have taken a lot less sap to do so. We've been getting snow off and on for about 10 days now, with no end in sight, so we expect to be making syrup close to the first of May. Most of the rest of the country is having a good year also, but the further north you get the more you run into what we have - not quite an average year yet. It does, however, look like we will get there.
The sap has really started to run since Saturday and we are slowly but surely getting to an average crop, with what looks like a lot of good weather coming in the near future. Just south and east of us, producers have already had a great season and are on their way to a record year. It seems like northern WI and the north half of MN are a little behind, but are catching up.
The season is underway, and with the potential for a big snow storm headed our way, we are very optimistic. The way it's looking right now, we may even make syrup in May this year. For those of you in the northern half of the midwest or even in the east, I think you are in for a very good year, with southern states like Ohio and PA reporting record crop. Patience is going to be the key this season!
Finally, the sap is running the way it's supposed to. We had a good day yesterday, with over a gallon of sap per tap, with today looking to be more of the same. We pray this keeps up for a few more weeks. Good Luck everyone!
With the warm weather we had late last week and weekend, we made our first syrup of the season, as we were able to collect about 1600 gallons of sap on Friday and Saturday. However, things have since slowed again as the temps have cooled off and the deep snow pack is keeping the frost in the ground around the trees. We haven't collected any sap since Saturday, but we are anticipating a strong run towards the end of this week, as the temperatures look to warm back up into the upper 40's again with a lot of sunshine.
The sap has finally started to run here a little bit over the past couple of days. As soon as the lines are thawed out in the mornings, we get the vacuum pumps started. However, not too far from here, things have really started to go. The forecast is calling for some rain / snow this weekend, and changes in the barometric pressure - the perfect ingredients for a strong run. Stay tuned for our first batch of syrup.
We're still waiting for things to get started, as the weather has been colder than normal, keeping the sap from running. Places like Southern Ohio are reporting a record crop, but none of the northern states have done much of anything to this point. The short term forecast looks to be more of the same, with a slight warmup about the middle of next week, which could get the sap moving.
The continued cold weather has us in a holding pattern right now, with all our trees tapped and ready to go. With the current snow pack extending all the way down to Kentucky, we're expecting a prolonged, strong run, as this will help keep the temps from warming up too fast like they did last year. As a result of this, we anticipate a very good season, even though we're starting a bit later than normal.
We're finished with our tapping and are now in a waiting mode. We recieved about 10 inches of snow on tuesday which will push things back a little bit, but now it's really starting to look like a normal spring. A lot of weather changes like we've been having is normally really good for making maple syrup, so hopefully it continues. Things look to warm up a bit by the end of the weekend and early next week, which should get things moving.
We're finally getting out in the woods, and are planning to start tapping this week and hope to be done by early next week. The weather looks to be warm the next few days, but then cooling off again - we feel it's time to be ready. Also, remember our tubing system with check valves allows us to tap a little early with no real problems. If you have a small number of taps, just put one out and see what it does. Happy Tapping!
Unless the forecast changes, we plan to start tapping in the next week to ten days and hope to be done by the end of the month at the latest. Many of the large producers in the Northeast are tapping now and will be finishing up in the next week or two. Southern states like Ohio and Pennsylvania have already started to make syrup and Connecticut is off to a great start, already reporting a 1/2 a crop!
Weather conditions in our area look favorable for the rest of the month, but there are only three days in the forecast that will be over 32 degrees. For larger operations I would suggest to start getting your equipment ready, as I think the start to the 2013 season may be as early as the end of February. For small producers, my best suggestions 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.