Cold temps slowing maple syrup production - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Cold temps slowing maple syrup production

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Our long winter is affecting production of something you may not have thought about: Maple syrup.  Temperatures have stayed pretty consistently below freezing, and that means no sap is running.

It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make a single gallon of syrup. In a normal year, the park is able to produce 50-80 gallons of syrup. This time last year, they had 8 gallons made. This season, they have nothing.

Michaele Klingerman with St. Joseph County Parks says in order for sap to flow, temperatures need to regularly fluctuate between above and below freezing.  That's not happening.

Klingerman says it's disrupting the classes they hold on maple sugaring, the process of making sap into syrup.  The classes involve kids actually getting out and tapping a tree in the Bendix Woods County Park.  With the sap not flowing, they have had to either reschedule classes or show them a simulated production process.

We're expecting a warm up next week, but even that may not be helpful if it sticks around.  Klingerman says if the temperatures get too high and stop dropping down below freezing, then sap stops flowing and the season officially ends.

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