Late start to maple syrup season

Published On: Mar 14 2013 10:39:53 AM CDT
CASHTON, Wis. -

Like so many farmers in Wisconsin, the state's maple syrup producers are waiting on the weather.

The syrup season is getting a late start this year by about a few weeks.

Maple trees need a cycle of freezing and thawing to produce the sap needed to make syrup. So far this year we have the 'freezing' part down, but we haven't had many above-freezing days.

While many of us would like to wake up one morning to see spring-like 60-degree temperatures and the snow gone, syrup producers are hoping for a more gradual warm-up.

"In the 60's, sap starts going bad, the trees bud-out really fast, and it starts making off-tasting syrup," said maple syrup producer Eric Meyer. "So you pretty much have to end when the sap starts getting bad."

Meyer says he's not worried yet. Farming depends a lot on the weather.

If you remember, last year's weather only allowed for a short syrup-ing season. Trees budded early in above-average March temperatures.