2018 a sweet year for syrup
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Vermont maple syrup producers set 5.67 million maple taps in 2018, 5 percent more than during the 2017 season, and the largest number of taps since 1928 according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. It was also a long season with sugar makers in the woods on average 52 days. That's nearly one week longer than in 2017.
Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts said, "Vermont sugar makers continue to lead the nation. Their commitment to quality stands alone producing a natural product that's beloved around the world."
Vermont maple syrup production in 2018 totaled 1.94 million gallons, down 2 percent from 2017. Vermont has led the nation in maple taps since 1916, highlighting the depth and importance of the industry to Vermont's economy and culture.
"Basketball might consume the nation's attention during March Madness, but here in Vermont its Maple Madness, a much tastier option," said Commissioner of Tourism and Marketing Wendy Knight. "Our top standing in maple production makes Vermont a delicious destination to sample maple products and sip inspired beverages."
Other maple statistics released by USDA:
Yield per tap is estimated to be 0.342 gallon, down 7 percent from the previous season.
The earliest 2018 Vermont sap flow reported was January 12.
On average, the 2018 season lasted 52 days, compared with 46 days in 2017.
Vermont typically tapped between 5.5 and 6 million trees prior to 1935 but declined to around 1.5 million in the 1960's.
In 2003 Vermont tapped 2.12 million trees and has been steadily increasing that number to the 5.67 million in 2018.
Since 2003 Vermont's maple syrup production has increased from around 500,000 gallons to almost 2 million gallons.
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