Harsh winter affecting local sap production

BERNE, N.Y. – A harsh winter has led to problems for local sap production, affecting local harvests.

Randy Grippin the owner of Mountain Winds Farm in Berne says the average harvest season is mid-February to mid-April, but he and his two dogs are currently in a sticky situation.

“We’re probably a month behind schedule right now and we just hope that it doesn’t warm up too fast,” he said.

The extreme winter this area experienced has caused Grippin’s 18,000 taps and tubing — all sixteen miles of it — to deliver less sap.

“So far this year we managed to collect about 3500 gallons of sap. This time of year in past years we were pushing probably 20,000 gallons,” he said.

A consistent 45 degree day and 20 degree night is ideal for harvesting sap. One gallon of syrup is gathered from 45 to 80 or 90 gallons of sap with a machine that concentrates the sugar content and filters out the water through reverse osmosis.

“If we could have six or eight weeks of that kind of weather, which I know most people this time of year after this winter don’t want to hear about, but we as maple farmers need that six to eight,” he said.

Though Grippin’s lines haven’t produced much so far, he’s hopeful for a strong finish to the season.

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