Make sure you have your flue and finishing pans ready to go if you are making maple syrup this year. Mother Nature is finally cooperating with those extracting sap from their trees to make syrup after temperatures this month rarely got above freezing until recently. At the beginning of the month, Bill Roethle from Hillside Apples in Casco said it was the longest he had waited to get sap from his trees in his seven years perfecting the craft. Ed Staats from Country View Farms in Sturgeon Bay says his sap harvest was a couple of days behind his usual schedule. He says the temperatures can still play a role in how much syrup he can produce, ranging from 750 to over 1,000 gallons a year.
Staats added that bugs could take away some of the sugar content from the sap needed to make syrup if it warms up too much before the run finishes. That means it takes more sap to make the same amount of syrup, making it appear darker and taste different. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin maple syrup producers made over 300,000 gallons in 2021, which was up 35,000 from 2020.