Farmers so far have been reporting a mixed bag

Official numbers for this spring’s maple syrup season aren’t expected until next month, but farmers so far have been reporting a mixed bag. Andy Aldrich, the owner of Aldrich Maple & Christmas Tree Farm in Richmond, said  “This was my best year.” He says he produced almost 1,400 gallons of syrup from his 2,700 taps. But he says not everyone was so lucky. He said “My closest neighbors just said their sap really never got going and they’re a mile from here.” He says there are too many variables in sugaring to single out one reason as the culprit for the odd year but industry officials agree it was a mixed bag. “It’s just a little bit of everything,” said Allison Hope with the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association. In general, She says southern Vermont appeared to have faired better than northern areas. Along with the orientation of the sugarbush, elevation, and temperature variables, this winter also brought two major winter storms that damaged sugarbushes and hoses. The saving grace was a high sugar content.