Maple Syrup Producers In Sticky Situation This Year - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Maple Syrup Producers In Sticky Situation This Year


OWOSSO, Mich. (WLNS) - Maple syrup season is upon us, but a cold spring forecast has producers in a sticky situation.

When making maple syrup, the temperature outside can't be too hot like last year or too cold like this year.

"We had 50 degree days around the 7th, 8th and 9th of March [last year]. The trees opened up, our sap turned bitter and we don't make good quality syrup," said Herb Confer, a 7-year vet in the business. "The trees are frozen, the lines are frozen [this year]. We're just not getting any movement with the sap."

Temperatures need to be ideally around 20 degree nights and 40 degree days--a far cry from yet another forecast.

Confer said most producers are in the same boat, barely making 50 percent of their crop. Add that to 2012's 60 percent crop and you've got a sticky situation.

"We've acquired 120 to 130 gallons of sap for the last week," he said. "Which is bad, we should be getting 300 gallons of sap a day."

But the season isn't over yet and just like any good ending, Herb's confident this one will end happily.

"Everybody in agriculture, every farmer looks for the optimism. The seasons not over yet. It's probably a test of patience. How long can you patiently hold out with optimism."

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