Warm weather gums up maple syrup seasonby Julie Siple, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The unseasonably warm weather has disrupted Minnesota's maple syrup season. Producers make syrup out of sap, which the trees produce only when weather alternates between freezing and thawing.
Stu Peterson, the president of the Minnesota Maple Syrup Producers Association, says he usually produces 250 gallons of maple syrup each spring on his farm north of Fergus Falls. But he hasn't collected any sap at all this year.
"Zero. We don't have a drop in our bins, in our buckets," he said. "I've never seen anything like it. I've always thought that you would get at least one run, because you have to come out of winter to spring. But it just has happened so abruptly."
If his area gets a freeze cycle in the next several days, he could still have a crop, he says. But once the buds on the trees bloom, the season is over.
"Every day that goes by and it's a beauty like this one, it's less and less probability that we're going to get anything," Peterson said.
Peterson says he's hearing similar stories from maple syrup producers in many parts of the state.
It takes about 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup.