Local maple syrup producers are hoping for some favorable weather in April so they can get cooking.
Ray Melander, who taps 3,000 trees in the town of Corning, said he’d be pleased with a three-week season. Syrup producers are looking for weather above freezing during the day and below freezing at night to get the sap to really run.
“We need a stretch of nice, comfortable 40 degree weather and some cooler nights,” Melander said.
Melander cooked his first batch of syrup on March 29 last year, so despite the feeling that this winter has lasted forever, the syrup season isn’t too far off the norm. Melander turned on the vacuum pump to his pipeline system last week and hopes to start making syrup this week.
“Mid to late March is when we like to see the sap running,” he said. “March 15 to April 15 is kind of the official maple syrup season in Wisconsin.”
The biggest difference this year is the amount of snow still in the woods, which makes getting to the trees more difficult.
“It’s hard work this year,” Melander said.
Once the snow melts away from the bases of the trees, the sap will flow better, he added.