Tapping Trees: Maple syrup production starting early in Salem

SALEM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The mild weather this year might be affecting many businesses negatively, but for the maple syrup industry, it’s been “pretty sweet!”

Maple syrup production usually starts in mid-March, but this year, they started on the first of February, which makes it a record-breaking season.

With barely any snow and freezing temperatures this winter, syrup producers have gotten a head start in putting taps in trees. Mapleland Farms in Salem has been tapping around 14,000 trees and has already produced 25 percent of the crop. They expect to produce 30 percent more by the end of the week.

New York has seen record levels of syrup production in three of the past five years. Canada and Vermont are the top producers. New York ranks second because the Capital Region only taps one percent to two percent of its trees.

The demand for syrup has been on the rise.

In the past few years, New York has produced at least over 500,000 gallons. Workers with Mapleland Farms said if the warmer weather continues, the record production will carry on throughout the year.

“Last year, our first syrup was made on March 12, so we’re well over a month ahead of last year on the first boiling date,” David Campbell with Mapleland Farms said. “And actually last year, there was not a whole lot of syrup made the entire month of March. It was mostly made the first two weeks of April.”

While the season has been out on a strong start, producers hope the summer won’t be too hot. Too much warmth can actually make trees start to bud and ruin the syrup’s flavor.

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