Mild New England Winter Makes For Undesirable Maple Harvest Season

Photo: James Rojas / WBZ NewsRadio

NATICK, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — For those in the maple syrup making industry there's a level of uncertainty floating around with this winter being mild compared to past New England seasons. WBZ's James Rojas caught up with Executive Casey Townsend of the Natick Organic Community Farm, who said the warmer weather could be cause for headaches for maple agriculture down the line.

The local tapping season for NCF typically begins around the second week of February, but this year it started two weeks earlier because of the higher temperatures.

"I've never gone through a season like this in ten years. Because it's been flowing all winter long, we're not sure what the concentration of sugar is going to be like in the sap, in terms of quantity, how much sap is going to be running— what it means for customers is that there's going to be a lower supply of maple supply, which probably means there'll be a higher price associated with it," Townsend said.

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From an ecological standpoint, Townsend says having virtually no winter in New England will make an already unpredictable system more unpredictable. The NCF has a particular way they go about harvesting the sap from trees.

"When we tap, we're looking for diameter and breast height," Townsend said.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports.

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