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Published March 21, 2012, 10:27 PM

Warm spring weather having effect on maple syrup harvest

Vergas, MN (WDAY TV) - The next time you put a little Maple Syrup on your pancakes, know that it took some extra effort to make it. Our rare early spring is tricking Maple Trees in our area woods, and the unusual warm weather at night and during the day is cutting sap and syrup production by more than half.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

The next time you put a little Maple Syrup on your pancakes, know that it took some extra effort to make it. Our rare early spring is tricking Maple Trees in our area woods, and the unusual warm weather at night and during the day is cutting sap and syrup production by more than half.

Deep in the woods south of Vergas Jerry Jacobson stoked the boiler. It’s cooking day. Jacobson has made his own commercial maple syrup for years. This year a surprise from Mother Nature has put the brakes on production of sap.

Jerry Jacobson – Jake’s Syrup: “We thought maybe we’d only get 10% of a crop, but we think we might get more like 25%. We need freezing nights. Mid-30s are perfect for maple syrup we haven't had one day that’s been below 32.”

Despite over a thousand buckets scattered throughout his woods, the gallons of sap coming to the boiler are scarce this year.

Jerry Jacobson: “Naturally the warm weather brings the sap up in the tree, but when you get cold weather it pushes it down. So you’ve got sap to catch going up and back down. Now it’s just going up.”

The good news is even though the supply may be low this year and you will not likely see a spike in price of maple syrup. That is because in Canada growers are having a good year and they control the price.”

Jerry Jacobson: “Generally forty gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of syrup. Sometimes it’s fifty; it depends on what the sugar content is.”

In the sugarbush today it was a perfect afternoon to gather sap. It's just the season came weeks early, fooling the maple trees into an early spring.

Meanwhile it is still full steam ahead for the 12th Annual Maple Syrup days in Vergas. A Big 5K Run kicks off the March 31st Celebration. A big pancake and sausage breakfast with the maple syrup you just saw made runs all morning long. There is also an Easter egg hunt at 10:00 AM by the beach.

It’s a chance for the lakes area town to showcase its busy businesses on main street as they all prepare to kick off spring and summer. Artists will display their work and local producers will be on hand to sell bottles of their home-made syrup.

Karen Olson – Festival Organizer: “It is bringing community together everyone is different states in life this is the time to pull together and show off celebrations zumba and clogging and singing.”

As part of the Maple Syrup Fest maple syrup producers will give tours.

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