Is the warmer weather affecting maple syrup production? - WNEM TV 5

Is the warmer weather affecting maple syrup production?

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MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

Producers of one of Michigan’s biggest exports say the unusually warm February weather could be devastating.

"It was a little scary at first," Kyle Bagnall said.

Bagnell said the recent warm weather was a close call for maple syrup production in Michigan.

"If it was very warm for a long period of time the trees might bud out too early and the season would end," Bagnall said.

Bagnall said once the trees start growing buds for leaves the sap dries up. Luckily, for maple syrup lovers, Bagnall said the cold spell has brought some good luck.

"Now that we are back to a little bit above freezing during the day. and cold below freezing at night., that's when the sap starts to flow and things should be back on track," Bagnall said.

Bagnall said the sap is food for the tree so it can grow it's leaves.
Groups come to the Sugar House at Midland’s Chippewa Nature Center to see how the maple syrup is made once the sap is harvested.

Bagnall said the season is short and warm weather can make it even shorter. 
"We start tapping ours at the end of February or Mid-February and we end up at the third week of march or like the first of April," he said.  
Even though they do not sell the syrup at the center, Bagnall said a shorter season could affect prices when buying it at the store.

Don’t worry, though, he believes there will be plenty of maple syrup for those pancakes. 

"I think things have calmed down a little bit. and even though it's a little warmer than usual. I think we should have a pretty good season,” Bagnall said.

If you want to try some of the syrup, the Chippewa Valley Center will have a Maple Syrup Day on March 18. 

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