Cold Freezes Maple Syrup Season

syrup2VERMONT - Vermont produced 42% of the United States maple production in 2014. One local maple farm in Barnet explained how they are doing their part in continuing the trend of keeping Vermont as the number one producer of maple syrup.



Maple syrup has been being produced in Vermont since 1557 according to written records at University of Vermont Library.

At Center Hill Maples in Barnet, Vermont, owned by Alan and Lorna Fogg, they use over 6,300 taps tapping over 5,000 trees.

An article released by the United States Department of Agriculture shows Vermont had 4.27 million taps across the state in 2014, up slightly from the 2013 total.

The reason for less trees being tapped could be cause by the cold weather. King Whetstone of the United States Department of Agriculture said the cold temperature also contributed to the shorter season of sap flow.

With the sap not flowing, maple syrup producers made less then they did in years past.

According to the USDA national maple syrup makers in Vermont produced 1.32 million gallons of maple syrup in 2014, down from the 1.48 million gallons, but this number still means Vermonters produced 42% of the United States maple syrup.

Center Hill Maple also witnessed the same trend as the national one. Only producing 1,350 gallons of maple syrup in 2014, but that number is 300 gallons less than what they produced in 2013.

Even though last year’s extremely cold weather did not help maple syrup makers, this year could be even worse if the weather stays consistently frigid.

Last year at this time, Center Hill Maples had over 200 gallons of maple syrup, compare that with this year, where they only have 105 gallons.  If the weather continues, it could have a bad impact on Center Hill Maples.   

“Profit will definitely go down if the season does not extend itself,” said Lorna Fogg.

Even though this season been difficult because of the lack of sap flowing from the trees, Fogg remains optimistic. The reason is because she recoginzes how important last weekend’s annual Maple Syrup Open House across Vermont was to her farm.

“Open house is a great way to introduce people who have never had real maple syrup,” said Fogg, “It is a great way to keeping reminding people how much better the real thing is, it is all natural, plus it can’t be beat.”

The process of making maple syrup is not just a hobby for Fogg, it is a passion she grew up with.

“I love it, I grew up making maple syrup, my parents only had 100 taps, and they would stay up all night,” said Fogg, “It’s a lot of work but I love it, and it is a important part of Vermont culture.”