Ice Storm Damages Massachusetts Maple Syrup Harvest

February 12, 2009

Massachusetts’ maple syrup producers say December’s ice storm is ensuring a not-so-sweet sugaring season that will drive up retail prices.

Massachusetts Maple Producers Association Executive Director Thomas McCrumm tells The Recorder of Greenfield that production is expected to drop 20 percent statewide this season because of ice and snow damage.

Massachusetts is the No. 4 syrup-producing state in New England, behind Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire.

Brooks McCutchen, operator of Berkshire Sweet Gold Maple Farm in Heath, says storms damaged sugar maple trees and left miles of syrup pipeline buried under snow and virtually inaccessible, especially at higher elevations.

Aimee Thayer of the USDA’s Berkshire County Farm Service Agency tells The Berkshire Eagle that some farmers are reporting that nearly 50 percent of their taps were affected by the weather.

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