Warm weather weakens maple syrup production

YOU LIKELY HAVEN’T ENJOYED NEARLY AS MANY SNOW DAYS AS YOU HAVE IN THE PAST!
THAT’S BECAUSE WE’RE ENJOYING A WARMER THAN USUAL WINTER!
SOUNDS NICE, I KNOW. BUT IT'S NOT GOOD NEWS FOR MAPLE SYRUP LOVERS…
A FEW WEEKS AGO WE MENTIONED THAT FARMERS HAVE STARTED TAPPING TREES FOR THE SWEET STUFF EARLIER THAN USUAL, BUT THE WARMER WINTER WEATHER HAS ALSO MADE THESE MAPLE TREES LESS PRODUCTIVE.
UP NEXT, BRIAN CONYBEARE HEADS TO THE FARM TO GET THE SCOOP.
CLEAR SAP LOOKS ALMOST LIKE WATER AS IT DRIPS FROM 2,400 SUGAR MAPLE TREES. IT IS STILL TRICKLING INTO A COLLECTION TANK FROM THREE MILES WORTH OF PLASTIC TUBES AT THE WESTCHESTER'S WHITE OAK FARM IN YORKTOWN HEIGHTS. BRI HART / SYRUP FARMER: "ALL OF THESE TREES ARE INTER CONNECTED." BUT BRI HART SAID HIS PRODUCTION IS DOWN BY ABOUT 75 PERCENT SO FAR THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF THE UNUSUALLY WARM WEATHER RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SIX-WEEK SYRUP SEASON IN THE WINTER. BRI HART / SYRUP FARMER: "IT'S BEEN IN THE 60S THE LAST WEEK, SO WE'VE GOT A
MUCH REDUCED FLOW OF SAP FROM WHAT WE NORMALLY GET THIS TIME OF YEAR, IT'S DEVASTATING TO US." HART SAID IT TAKES 60 GALLONS OF RAW TREE SAP TO MAKE ONE GALLON OF PURE SYRUP. STANDUP /BRIAN CONYBEARE: "THE EXPERTS SAID THERE IS A SWEET SPOT FOR MAPLE SYRUP IT WHEN IT COMES TO THE WEATHER -- BELOW FREEZING AT NIGHT AND INTO THE 40S DURING THE DAY FOR THE SAP TO RUN." AND BUDS ON THE BRANCHES OF THE TREES IN FEBRUARY ARE A VERY BAD SIGN. BRI HART / SYRUP FARMER: "ONCE THOSE TREES BEGIN TO BLOSSOM, THE TREES DONE ITS JOB IN TERMS OF BRINGING THE SAP UP, AND IT'S NOT GOING TO PRODUCE SAP ANYMORE" HART'S SYRUP IS ON THE MENU, AND THE PANCAKES, AT THE NEARBY YORKTOWN COACH DINER. OWNER GUS MOISSIADIS SAID HE TRIES TO USE LOCALLY-SOURCED, NATURAL PRODUCTS LIKE WHITE OAK MAPLE SYRUP WHENEVER POSSIBLE. GUS MOISSIADIS/ YORKTOWN COACH DINER: "IT'S A MUCH BETTER QUALITY AND THE TASTE AND EVERYTHING. SOMETIMES IT'S HARD TO GET IT BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER." AND HART SAID UNFORTUNATELY, PEOPLE WILL LIKELY BE PAYING MORE FOR THAT REAL MAPLE FLAVOR. SO FAR, HART HAS MADE ONLY ABOUT 200 GALLONS WHEN HE WOULD NORMALLY BE CLOSER TO 800 OR MORE IN A NORMAL, COOLER WINTER.


Instructional Links

Warm Weather Maple Syrup

Website Article: Vermont Maple Syrup, Unusually Warm Weather Affecting Maple Syrup Season

Website Article: Environmental Education for Kids, Those Marvelous Maples

Video: National Geographic Kids, Making Stuff, How to Make Maple Syrup

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