Warm Winter Could Cause Maple Syrup Shortage in New York
If you're a fan of locally harvested maple syrup, a mild winter may decrease the supply again and leave you with no fresh maple syrup for your pancakes and waffles.
According to a report by Mary Chao of ABC Denver, maple sugaring time is just getting underway in the northeast region of the United States. Outside Canada, the northeast is the only place where maple syrup is produced because the climate allows for harvesting.
But after another mild winter, we may be looking at a maple syrup shortage in New York. According to Chao's report, warmer winters shorten the amount of time that maple syrup is produced.
And at least here in Binghamton, winter conditions haven't been as blustery as usual. In fact not even a full week ago on February 15, temperatures in the Binghamton area were well into the 60s. While that may have been a fun warm afternoon for us, it likely didn't have a positive effect on the maple syrup harvest.
To put how much of a difference the length of the season makes in context, according to the USDA maple syrup production in New York rose from 2021 to 2022 by 31% to 845,000 gallons of maple syrup. The average season that resulted in that jump was 29 days in 2021 and 33 days in 2022. That means that with just four extra days on average, New York maple syrup producers increased production by 31%.
Yield per tap also increased from 0.223 gallons in 2021 to 0.291 gallons in 2022. The total yield made New York the second largest maple syrup producer in the country.
So with a particularly warm winter going on during the height of maple syrup season, New York may be heading towards a down year when it comes to supply, which means prices are bound to rise as demand grows and supply shrinks.