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Vermont's maple syrup production down 21% this year

WPTZ Plattsburgh-Burlington logo WPTZ Plattsburgh-Burlington 6/10/2021
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Vermont once again led the way in maple syrup production, though warm weather and other issues served up a lackluster yield for many sugarmakers.

Video: Experts say maple season cut short this spring

Data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows Vermont produced approximately 1.54 million gallons of syrup this spring, down 21% from the previous year. It remains the top maple-producing state in the nation.

“Folks were anywhere from 50 to 75% of a normal crop across the board this season,” said Allison Hope, the executive director of the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association. “It's a big difference for people.”

The sharp decline in production can be attributed to poor sugaring weather, which included multiple stretches of abnormally high temperatures, and low sugar content in tree sap.

Those conditions resulted in a very short season, lasting an average of 28 days according to USDA data. That falls short of the 38-day average recorded in 2020.

"Mother Nature was the story in 2021," Vermont Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts said. "Vermont maple producers were faced with wild weather changes, ups and downs, starts and stops."

A syrup report for Northeastern states from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service included a national production figure of 3.4 million gallons, but it only included production figures for five northeastern states — Vermont, at 1.5 million; New York, 647,000; Maine, 495,000; Pennsylvania, 165,000 and New Hampshire, 127,000.

Hope said this year’s federal statistics don’t match those that were released last year. She was seeking an explanation for the difference.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

READ MORE:Vermont's maple syrup production down 21% this year

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