Maple syrup season frozen in Wisconsin

By Millaine Wells, Local 5 News

Published 03/05 2014 05:01PM

Updated 03/05 2014 07:23PM

CRIVITZ, Wis. (WFRV) - It is maple syrup season in Wisconsin, or at least it is supposed to be.

Buckets are still dry thanks to our record cold winter.   

"It is freezing cold, snow is to my knees in most places. It froze the trees completely" says Chris Blaser who owns Blasers Acres , one of the largest syrup producers in the state.

40 miles of tubing sits empty his property in Crivitz.

"We are hoping to produce 5,000 to 7500 gallons the year" he explains.

However, conditions need to change before they will see a drop.

"The optimal for syrup making is 20-25 degrees at night, rebounding quickly to 40-45 degrees in the day even 50 once in awhile" Blaser says.

Before the sap starts to run Blasers Acres will hang 15,000 buckets in an effort to triple production compared to last year. They are tapping roughly 20,000 trees in total.

It is an ambitious goal considering Wisconsin produced a record 265,000 gallons in 2013.

Coming off that strong harvest Blaser invested in a shed full of new equipment.

Now he is waiting on the sweet syrup to pay bills.

"We added on 20 more acres of land. We did new tubing, new equipment so we have a lot of money out there that we would like to see back" he says.

According to Blaser, with this late start a warm April is the worst case scenario.

"When it quits freezing then the trees are going to want to bud and produce leaves and then it is over" he says.

Wisconsin currently ranks fourth in the United States for maple syrup production.  

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