Warm weather not so sweet for maple syrup farmers

BERNE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – With many people enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, some of it isn’t good for business.

Maple syrup farmers need cold weather to make their product and if the warm weather keeps up, it could end their season early.

“On a good year mountain winds farm will make about 500 gallons of maple syrup but this year so far they’ve only made twenty,” Randy Grippin said. “We’re way behind and we just hope the weather hangs on.”

Grippin owns Mountain Winds Farm in Berne and has been making maple syrup for the past decade. He says the temperature is what makes the craft possible.

“You need 20 degree nights and then that 40 degree during the day so you get the flow of water up and down the tree.”

Causing the sap to pour out of the taps into Grippin’s 18 miles of pipeline to a releaser that moves the sap to the pumphouse.

“On a normal day with normal temperatures it would be flowing and thus would be triggering back and forth about every two to three minutes.”

Because of the warm weather, the flow isn’t as fast as usual and needs a little help.

“We have the vacuum pump on all the time and get whatever sap we can get from the flow.”

That’s just one problem the warm weather brings.

Less sap means to boil down into syrup, forcing Grippin to wait until about 1,200 gallons has been collected.

“We need to process it as fast as we can, but we need to have enough of it to mKd it viable to process.”

The problems do not stop there. If it stays warm for several days, the season could be over for good.

“If you have too much warm for too long the trees will bud and when the tree bud then the sap is no longer useable.”

Grippin says there still is time for the season to turn around but he’ll just have to wait and see what the weather holds.

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