A short, warm 2012 season resulted in a 36 percent decrease in New York's maple syrup production.
New York maple syrup 2012 production decreased 36 percent from 2011 and is estimated at 360,000 gallons, a decrease from the 564,000 gallons produced in 2011, according to King Whetstone, U.S. Agriculture Department National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office director.
Only Vermont produced more syrup than New York. The number of taps, 2.07 million, increased 3 percent from last year, which is the largest number of taps since 1950. Syrup produced per tap averaged .174 gallons, a decrease from .280 gallons in 2011. The final value of the 2011 crop is $22.1 million, 79 percent more than the previous year's value of production. The average price was $39.10 per gallon equivalent for all sales.
The overwhelming majority of maple producers reported the season was too warm. The season was shortened due to summer like temperatures in March that lasted a week. The warm temperatures forced the budding of trees. Following the warm stretch, colder, freezing temperatures in April came about which aided in shortening the season. Producers tapping early took advantage of a few earlier than normal runs. Also, producers using a vacuum system fared better than those on gravity tubing or buckets. Medium syrup accounted for 34 percent of production, with 14 percent dark and 52 percent light.
The 2012 United States maple syrup production totaled 1.91 million gallons, a 32 percent decrease from the 2011 total. The number of taps is estimated at 9.77 million, 2 percent more than the 2011 total of 9.58 million. Yield per tap is estimated to be .195 gallons, a 33 percent decrease from the previous season's yield. All states, with the exception of Maine, showed a decrease in production from the previous year. Vermont led all states. Most growers in all states reported that temperatures were too warm for optimal sap flow. The season started sooner than last year in all states, with the earliest sap flow reported on Jan. 5 in Connecticut. The latest sap flow reported to open the season was Feb. 4 in Maine.
On average, the season lasted 24 days, compared with 32 days in 2011.