The Official U.S. Maple Syrup Almanac -- 2017 Alamanc_2017 - Page 34

OHIO MAPLE PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION PO Box 1083 Burton, Ohio 44021,, SUMMARY OF SEASON Y ou could almost say the 2017 season was a carbon copy of the 2016 season with a few twists. 2017 was a year of ex- tremes; Ohio was con- stantly exposed to either extended warm or cold weather. Feb. 20 through 24 was a warm spell with 77 de- grees in Cleveland. Many producers felt that they could not overcome the record shattering warm spell and they decided to end the season, even though it was still February. The first two weeks of March turned cold with minimal sap flow; this was followed by another warm up, ending the season on Mar. 27. Across Ohio, many producers looked at the weather patterns were once again tapping in January. This was a practice that was generally not heard of unless you lived in southern Ohio. The new standard has been to tap in January if you can and producers have done that three out of the last five years, except for 2014 and 2015. The biggest disappointment was the lack of production in February brought on by warm weather. As the season progressed, the syrup qualities declined quickly due to weather condition and long delays be- tween runs. OSU GEAUGA COUNTY EXTENSION AGENT and Maple News columnist Les Ober and Amy Wehn of the Burton Log Cabin sugarhouse, operated by the Burton Chamber of Commerce. The overall low sugar content of the sap was on the decline contributing to lower per tap syrup yields. March was difficult for production. Producers had to recover from early warm weather and then with- stand long periods of below normal tem- peratures. Every maple producing region within the state reacted differently. The last decade has shown producers that you can never duplicate the flow of a fresh tap precisely placed at the start of the season. You can make a good season better by ex- tending the season, but you cannot make up for the production you have lost as a result of not tapping on time. Probably the most remarkable statistic coming out of 2017 season was the large volume of syrup that was produced in the month of January. Several NE Ohio Producers went over the 1000 gallon mark going into the first week of February. Those early runs also contributed to the overall, syrup quality, which was very good. A large percent- age of the producers were able to produce Golden Delicate and Amber Rich syrup. Les Ober, OSU Geauga County Extension agent OFFICERS Dan Brown President Fredericktown, Ohio 740-694-7768 34 Karl Evans Vice President Orwell, Ohio Aggie Sojka Sperry Secretary Chardon, Ohio Paul Snavely Treasurer Republic, Ohio U.S. Maple Syrup Almanac 2017