Following a huge crop like 2011, the 2012 crop had a tough act to follow. The winter weather was most unusual with temperatures well above average. In southern VT and NH we had only two significant snow storms with the biggest being in October. Because of the warmth and the lack of snow, getting around in the woods was much easier. Most sugarmakers were ready for an early season and started producing early. In the end, Mother Nature continued her abnormal behavior with above average temperatures into March. With the temperatures hitting the 70’s four days in a row the week of the 19th the season ended prematurely for us.
Last year was a record crop for many. This year, half of that amount seems to be normal which translates into about 70% of an average crop for some, less for others. We estimate the final US production at 18,000,000 lbs compared to over 30,000,000 lbs last year. Canadian production looks to be similar. What does that mean for pricing? They will be going up. How much? That is still to be determined. It cooled down to more normal temperatures this week (week of March 26th), so some isolated regions are producing a bit more syrup. It all adds up so we’re waiting for final production numbers and costs before knowing where things will settle. The farmers’ union in Quebec increased the base of syrup price 3% and with other costs rising (what isn’t going up) we see a minimum increase of 5%. The pricing normally settles down by late May or early June and we should have final prices at that time.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Sign up for our newsletter to receive future maple syrup crop updates.