County AG Report: Maple Season
Bridgewater & Easton, Maine (WAGM) - The temperatures are warming up and for Maple syrup producers the end of the season is in sight. It’s this weeks County Ag with Newssource 8s Jonathon Eigenmann.
This season in particular has been an up and down season for many maple farms
Bart Bradbury- “The 2022 season for us has been..been ok..it started out; its been a little bit slow, we thought you know the weather is wet, we haven’t had a alot of sun and we haven’t really get that real good stretch of cold nights and warm days. The ideal weather you have is the days that nights that go down into like 20 degrees, then a nice sunny day where it gets up into the 40s or so”.
C.J. King- " The first half of the season then were constantly fighting...frozen pipes and frozen pumps and...extreme changes in...Temperatures which affect our production”.
While the weather hasn’t been ideal, There are a couple of weather patterns that have worked in the producers favor.
Bart Bradbury- " well the snow is a big benefit to us, when we get the snow on the woods, that kinda keeps the..trees from budding out, it keeps them cool...and then of course when the weather gets warmer, you know, the trees; the snow melts and then the trees budd out sooner. You know with the snow that we’ve gotten, thats actually a little bit of a benefit to us to have that snow around the trees to keep them cool”.
One factor that comes to mind to the producers is sustainability of the trees.
Bart Bradbury- " As you tap them, you just gotta be careful on how you manage the trees and don’t overtap them. Just usually put one tap in a tree, unless its a real good size tree, then maybe you can put two taps in it. And then just spread it out over the seasons, over the years, where you tap that tree. In order not to tap it too much and create too much deadwood within the trees”.
C.J. King- “The way that the trees heal and the tap hole closure from previous years, and the stress that the trees get..from the conditions that mother nature throws at it, whether it be..you know stress from drought or flooding or insect damage. We have no control over some of that stuff and those things all affect how well that that tree does”.
Mother nature can also be a factor in the sweetness of the syrup.
Brat Bradbury- “When the season starts out, The sugar content can be a little low, and then we get a little peak during the season as the sugar content within the sap raises a little bit. and then as the tree..you know as the season goes on, and before the trees bud, you tend to lose a little bit of that sugar and that sugar content...lowers a little bit and that it takes a little more sap to make a gallon of syrup as the season concludes”.
The budding of the trees will determining factor of when the season will end. But in any case, it looks to be another sweet end to another maple season.
Jonathon Eigenmann, Newssource 8.
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