Help Comes for Sap-Strapped Maple Syrup Producers - NBC Connecticut

Help Comes for Sap-Strapped Maple Syrup Producers



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    Early spring means less maple syrup.

    The unusually warm spring might have been a nice surprise for us, but it turned out not to be such a welcome event for our maple trees – or for pancake and waffle lovers.

    Because the trees switched quickly from making sap to blooming their buds, the trees skimped on producing the sweet amber syrup that gives us a sugar boost with breakfast.

    Across the state, about 200 maple syrup producers made about 13,000 gallons of syrup in 2009, but only 9,000 gallons this year, according to agriculture officials.

    That’s just a drip from the spigot compared to Vermont’s 2010 crop of 890,000 gallons, but it’s a hardship for local growers, nonetheless.

    Because of the that, Gov. M. Jodi Rell says, the government will offer federal disaster loans to maple syrup producers and small farm-related businesses in Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven and Windham counties that are strapped by the lack of syrup.

    The problem is not just an issue in Connecticut. Nationwide, maple syrup production dropped 19 percent because of the warm spring, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.