- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
Cold weather delaying start of Conn. maple season
HEBRON, Conn. (AP) - The polar vortex has some Connecticut maple syrup producers vexed.
The maple syrup season, which normally begins in this state in late January, has been delayed as colder than normal daytime temperatures the past two months have kept the sap from running in the sugar maples.
“Now the 10 day forecast has us frozen out again into next week,” Mark Harran, president of the Maple Syrup Producers of Connecticut, said Tuesday. “Historically we have a six week season that ends around April 1, so, to me, any way you cut it, it’s going to be a shortened season.”
Ron Wenzel, 67, of Hebron didn’t start tapping his 450 or so trees until this past weekend, when daytime temperatures finally reached into the 40s and 50s, allowing the sap to flow.
To produce syrup, the sugar makers need days with temperatures in the mid-40s, and nights in the mid-20s.
In February, there have been 13 days when the high temperature at Bradley International Airport didn’t even reach the freezing mark, never mind 40 degrees, said William Babcock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Wenzel and his wife, Joyce, are hoping to get a few more moderate days before Hebron’s annual Maple Festival on March 8 and 9. The festival draws several thousand people to town each year, many of whom come to Wenzel’s sugar shack to watch him work.
Those tours will go on, whether they are making syrup or not. And Wenzel said there will be maple syrup and candy to buy.
“This isn’t our first rodeo,” he said. “We have plenty left over from last year, which was our best season ever.”
That season also was interrupted by a cold snap, but it was followed by weeks of perfect weather, leading to record yields, Harran said.
So there will be no supply problem, he said. In fact, because Connecticut produces only a tiny fraction of the nation’s maple sugar supply, Harran said consumers would not feel the impact of any shortened season.
The state had about 70,000 tapped trees, and produced about 20,000 gallons of syrup last year.
That compared to more than 1.3 million gallons in Vermont, and millions more in Quebec, which produces more than 70 percent of the world’s supply. The maple season there doesn’t typically get going until later in the winter.
Bob Dubose, who has about 1,500 taps on trees at his farm in Chaplin, said the weather is more of an annoyance than anything. He said Connecticut produces a higher quality syrup that many other places, and most of his customer’s want to buy a local product.
“I don’t want to have to buy anyone else’s syrup to meet my customer demand,” he said. “But we made enough last year that I can wholesale to some other state producers to meet their needs.”
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Unanimous Senate passes bill on military sex assault to give victims more say in prosecution
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again