A look back at a strong 2022 maple sugaring season
Favorable weather brought a boost to production
MADISON, Wis. – Maple sugar makers planning their 2023 season now are working off of a very strong base. Production across the seven U.S. states where pure maple syrup originates, including Michigan and Wisconsin, increased by over 35% in the winter of 2022.
Michigan’s gallons produced grew by 13%. But Wisconsin’s production flowed even stronger, surging by over 20%.
But these big increases are not likely to signal a long term trend. Maple syrup production is weather dependent. The weather of 2022 was favorable in much of the Lake States for sugaring, as it was in New England. And 2021 was quite a dismal year for sap production from hard maple trees. The average tree in the U.S. barely produced over ¼ of a gallon’s worth of sap in 2021. In 2022, the average tap yielded more than ⅓ of a gallon. This accounted for much of the increased volume in sap and pure maple syrup.
Vermont is the number one producer in the U.S., followed by New York and Maine. Wisconsin ranks fourth and Michigan is fifth.
But Quebec leads in worldwide production, with the volume produced in that one Canadian province exceeding the total U.S. production. (The total value of U.S. production in 2021 was $133,648,000, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which gathers production data each year.)
The number of taps in Wisconsin has grown by 140,000 or almost 18% over the past two years. The Michigan tap count has remained flat. The volume of syrup is affected by the tap count and the tapping season, which generally runs in February and March in the Lake States.