Mild winter weather could affect maple sugaring season

Hampshire County

WILLIAMSBURG, Mass (WWLP) – It’s almost maple sugaring season in western Massachusetts, but the mild winter weather could make production a bit more difficult this year.

Dufresne’s Sugar House in Williamsburg is an award-winning sugar house, with 6,000 taps and more than 100 years of experience.

While they’ve been able to produce abundant amounts of maple sugar in the past, this year the warm winter weather is making things tricky.

Keith Dufresne, the owner, told 22News they don’t quite yet know the full extent of the impact. Generally speaking, a daily freeze-and-thaw cycle is what’s best for making maple syrup.

“What we really need is to lock down the cold, which we haven’t had this winter. We’ve had a little bit of polar cold but it just didn’t- the next thing you know it’s back to 40 degrees again,” Owner Keith Dufresne said.

There are over 300 sugarmakers around Massachusetts. They hope for ideal conditions like days in the 40s, but below-freezing nights. This winter, we’ve had days in the 50s, 60s, and even 70 degrees.

According to the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association, tourists spend more than $2 million on maple syrup during the spring season annually.

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