2014 Maple Season Progress Report

This page is an update how the season is progressing across the state of Ohio from tapping to the final boil. You can be a part of this report by sending progress reports on maple syrup production in your area to Les Ober at ober.10@osu.edu

June 11, 2014

The results are In Ohio is 6th in the nation in maple syrup production. Read more on the front page post.

April 10, 2014
The Fat Lady sang her heart last night and we shut down the evaporator for the final time this season. Most of the producers in the county have closed the books on the 2014 season. From what I am hearing most producers across the state did better than expected.For others it was a short difficult season with little to show for it. On the home front our trees averaged 20 gallons of sap per tap and produced.4 gallon of syrup per tap. This year the key to success was using a good well maintained vacuum system and a well thought out plan for tap hole sanitation. Adopting new technology pays dividends.

This will most likely be the final post on this page. I will post the 2014 NASS Maple Syrup Crop Report on the Home Page in June. Please plan to fill out the NASS Maple Syrup Crop Report survey so that we have an accurate accounting of the maple syrup that is produced in Ohio.

I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this Progress Report. It has been fun and we will plan on doing it again starting in January.

Signing Off for the 2014 season; Les

April 7,2014
Talking to producers down state, it is over. It is also over for bucket producers in the north. Those that are still making syrup are on vacuum tubing. It froze over the weekend. The home woods produced another 500 gallons of sap on Sunday and is still running. We made the first dark amber of the season. The flavor was still good. Hoping for another 500 today. Les

April 5,2014
The final reports of the season are now coming in:
John from SW Ohio Reports:Last day of maple season came for me on March 31.
Pulled the taps that night. The sap was milky and the batch that I boiled that day was grade B, and it did not have very good flavor.
In all I got .28 gallons of syrup per tree. Which for me is above normal (I expect .25 per tree).
The sap was not as sweet this year. About 48 gallons of sap to one gallon of syrup.
All said and done, I was surprised that I got as much as I did as late as I started this year.
Reports from the OMPA board members indicate an average to slightly above average season across the state.
In northeast Ohio most producers are waiting to see if the temperatures will drop below freezing this weekend. We had heavy rain the last two days and several producers reported a partial sap flow during that period. I think most producers using vacuum tubing systems can count on an above average season in NE Ohio. The quality seems to be very good for this time of year.

April 1, 2014
Les from Geauga County reports: We made it to April with another good run. Had 800 gallons to process last night. We were still making medium amber. We will still have sap today but beyond that ?. I think we will be pulling the taps by next weekend, no real cold weather in the forecast. The question now is how long to run the vacuum pump. The longer we can run the cooler the lines will be but we do not want to risk putting unnecessary wear on the vacuum pump.

March 30, 2014
Les Reports from Geauga County:Strong run from Friday into Saturday evening. Froze Saturday night and will be warming up today. If it freezes Sunday night we should have a run on Monday and that will get us to the first of April. I always consider April as a bonus month. The longest I have run into April is the to the 9th. It looks like the first week of April will be the first extended warm spell of the season. High 50′s on Monday and into the 60′s on Tuesday. The fate of the season will be determined by the night time temperatures and how long it will be before we go below freezing.The last sap we brought in was 2% and still relatively clear. The syrup was still medium Amber. For many, especially those down state, this is the end. I saw Reds budding out in the Wooster area last week.

March 23, 2014
John from SW Ohio reports: Finished my seventh boil yesterday afternoon. The syrup was the darkest yet-Grade B. All of the other syrup I have made this season has been Light Amber, and Dark Amber. So far my production has been .20 gal per tap. Which, for me is just below average. Looks like the sap will run this week, but that will most likely be the end of the season here. The weather for next week looks to warm, without freezing nights. Hoping that I can say that I boiled sap in April!

Les Reports from Geauga County: Just finished up boiling what could have been the best single maple sugar run since 2008. We started the vacuum pumps on Tuesday the 18th at 12:00 Noon. We shut down vacuum pumps yesterday at 4:00 pm. It was a good run with 2.4% sap. Volume wise, close to 1900 gallons off just under 400 taps and made 40 gallons of light to medium amber syrup. The woods is still frozen in spots and there is even some snow on the North side. What really helped was maintaining 23 inches of vacuum on our lines. We should have another good run by the middle of the week.

Farview Farm from Burton Reports: 4000 gallons of sap for 4 days straight off 3000 taps. Very optimistic going into the last week of March.

March 20 2014
Coming off the biggest sap run of the season. Sap has been flowing for 48 hours. This could be the peak in most locations. However, looks like more cold weather coming next week.

March 17, 2014
Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Traditionally this should be the peak week for maple production in Northern Ohio and almost the end of the season in the southern Ohio. That would be in a normal year but 2014 is anything but normal. John from SW Ohio Reports:Had a heavy run on Thursday, Friday and Sat. My guess that it was the peak. I have about half of the annual average production made and bottled. The first boiling last week was a very high grade. The last boiling (Sat) was darker more like a Dark Amber or darker. The weather looks favorable this week, so we’ll se what it brings! I’m starting my 5th week in the season. We had a new report come in from Steve in SWOH:Barring a miracle this will be our worst year ever. Last year we made .55 gallons syrup per tap (800 taps). We’re hoping to make .2 gal per tap this year (900 taps). In Northeast Ohio Tom from Montville Heights reports that he is gaining after a series of small, but productive runs. His sugar content is up around 2.5%. We made a little over 15 gallons on our first boil on Saturday. That was around 47 to 1 which is not bad for the first run. The quality is excellent, light amber with an exceptional flavor. Glad to report that we got the CDL Pellet Rig dialed in. The 30X8 is running right at 100 gallons per hour without the pre-heater hooked up. More on that later. Good run coming over the next couple of days. I have feeling that there are few surprises left in 2014.

March 14, 2014
The first big run is over and a fair amount of syrup was made in the Northeast. It ran good into Wednesday morning. The first boil for us was on Wednesday afternoon during the mini blizzard. The lines feeding the outside tanks froze and that was it. Small amount of syrup was made. Nice color, good flavor. We still have issues in the woods. The squirrels have been very active. Looks like another short run today and tonight.

March 10, 2014 continued
More reports are coming in. John from SW Ohio Reports:The sap has been running strong and sweet since March 8. Have boiled twice since then, today being my biggest day.
It has only froze once so the sap ran all day and all night on the 8th, then it froze Sat night, and it ran all day and all night yesterday- it’s still running today.
The weather looks good clear into April. Enough freezing nights to keep the trees from budding out. Hope that everyone up north is having some good runs!

Tracy from North Central Ohio reports: We finally tapped our trees on Friday, hoping for the warm weather that was forcast for Sat. That didn’t happen, so maybe between today (Mon.) and tomorrow, we’ll have enough to boil.

March 10, 2014
Due to the fact that we had very little sap over the weekend I had a chance to visit several stops on the Maple Madness Tour. In summary, most are still waiting for the big run. Only a few were boiling and only for a short time. Farview Farm and Sugar Valley Maple have made around 100 gallons each. Further to the South in Portage County, Creekside Sugarbush and Cash Farms made enough to sell on the tour but really have gotten off to a slow start. Bonhomie Acres in Knox County reports 6 short boils. Normally they are 2/3 of the way through the season at this point. For southern Ohio to have any kind of season, a good run is needed this week. In North, we have about 20 days to make up ground, so anything can happen. The forecast is for good sugaring weather on Monday and Tuesday with a freeze by mid-week. Lets hope this season gets sweeter because it is not going to be very long.

March 8, 2014
Sap ran good yesterday but there is still up to foot of snow in the lower sections of the woods. The ground is also still frozen. It went below freezing last night and we have some freezing drizzle this morning.The first boil should come tonight. Today is also the first day of the Maple Madness Tour. They should have sap to boil for the visitors.

March 3, 2014
How do you feel about making syrup in April? It is not a sure thing but this year it could happen. After reviewing the 30 day agricultural forecasts over the weekend, the general consensus is for this weather pattern to continue through the end of March. This may be a good thing. Normally by the end of March the day time averages are near 50 degrees and the low are in the high 30s. Under normal conditions this would mark the end of the season. If the present pattern continues this would move the averages back a couple of weeks and sap should flow into April. If the pattern breaks and we move into a normal pattern then the warm-up will come abruptly and the season could end by the end of March. This means it will likely be a very short season. The best bet for sugarmakers in Ohio is for a colder weather normal for the end of March and first part of April. Even though most of us are sick of cold weather. Les

March 2, 2014
John from SW Ohio Reports: Had a good run yesterday (Sat). The weather was perfect…… and today it’s 20 and snowing. Averaged about a 1/4 gallon sap per tap. Evidently,it was definitely warmer in southern Ohio over the weekend. In the northern part of the state it was locked up city. We hit -10 on Friday morning.

February 27, 2014
Tracey from Central Ohio Reports; We reside in north central Ohio and have not tapped our trees yet because there is no warm-up in sight. Yikes! Gonna be a late season…fast & furious!

February 26, 2014
John from SW OH reports:Things finally slowed down enough that I could put in a good report! Last week I had one day that the sap ran, averaging about a half gallon per tree. After that the weather warmed up to the high 40s-50s and the sap slowed to a stop, some of the larger trees never ran at all. Now we’re back in the deep freeze, but looks like (according to Accuweather.com) that next week we could have some good running weather!

In Central Ohio Dan Reports that they have boiled three times Fri thru Sunday. In Northeast Ohio some syrup was made but the sugar content was generally low and some of the syrup was dark. This is not unusual coming off extremely cold conditions. Long range forecast is calling for more cold weather and snow in this corner of the state .

February 24, 2014
Back into the deep freeze again for a few days. Heard something interesting this morning on a agricultural conference call regarding the long range weather forecast. Jim Noel NOAA Agricultural Meteorologist out of Central Ohio gave a report on the up coming weather for the month of March into the first part of April. It appears that the trend toward colder weather is predicted continue through the month march and possibly into the first part of April. with average to above average precipitation. One of the factors driving this that the Great Lakes are 85% frozen over and this should help to delay the warm up this spring. If these prediction are anywhere close to accurate, syrup production in this area could mirror what annually happens in New England. Their production runs well into April. To back this up,this forecast is similar to two other agricultural forecasts that I have heard recently. All I can say, is that this is not normal, but this has been anything but a normal winter. Les

February 22, 2019
We finally got out of the deep freeze and some syrup was made today. James from Middlefield filled his first barrel last night. Tom from Montville Heights is starting tonight. I had 49 participants in the Maple 101 class at the Geauga Park District today and with that over I will start tapping tomorrow.John reported from SWOH. I have not had a good run yet. The trees are running a little but not much. Hope that there is a good run before it returns to the deep freeze. I am going to boil what I have gathered all week Saturday.

February 21, 2014
The temperature rose and so did the sap. Many of the Geauga County producers are tapped or in the process of tapping. One producer reports 6000 gallons of his tubing. He will start to boil this evening. It appears that those who were in, got a good run. However, the forecast for the next week is calling for the return of cold weather. One of the advantages of getting in on the first run, is that you will have a few days to fix all of the unforeseen problems. No reports from down state but it should have been a good run.

February 19, 2014
John reporting from SW Ohio: We are having a sloppy muddy mess here in SW OH! Got my trees tapped, but it was not easy. Had to wade through over a foot of sloppy snow/slush in the bush. It is about 40 degrees here in the SW part of the state, and the temp, is supposed to be in the 50s later this week. Hoping to have a big run later this week. Only the trees on south slopes ran today, and it was not enough to gather.

February 18, 2014
Major setback this morning, awoke to 10 inches of drifted snow. This will slow things down. Will wait to see how much snow we lose on Thursday and then tap. Trees are frozen hard and our bush faces the north. We need some warm weather soon but the weather forecast is for more below normal next week. John from SW Ohio reports he has also held up for a few days.

February 17, 2014
John reporting again from southwestern Ohio. I am going to tap Monday the 17th. The weather next week is supposed to be in the 40s an 50s, with lower night time temps. Should be good sugar making weather!!!

February 15, 2014
The temperature is struggling to reach 20 degrees F but there is activity all across Geauga County. We have swapped out all of spouts and put in some new drops where needed. The plan is to start tapping on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Talked to a big producer on Chipmunk Lane in Middlefield and he is tapping today. Gortner Maple Products in West Salem reports several big producers tapping in Central Ohio. Sticky Pete is tapping in Athens County.The weather forecast looks very favorable for a run by the end of next week. However, there is a lot of frozen wood to drill through. Use sharp bits and drive those spout carefully. The 2014 season is here and we are off to the races. Let me know how it is going in your part of the state?

February 7, 2014
Global warming? has its icy grip on Ohio maple producing counties. It appears that at least for the next 7 to 10 days we will continue to be sidelined from tapping. It warmed up slightly on Tuesday and we had a chance to fine tune are next to new pellet evaporator. More on this as the season unfolds.

February 2, 2014
Ohio Maple Producer reporting from SW Ohio
I’m 60 miles north of Cincinnati, Ohio, and today we had high’s of 36-40. I did not tap because the weather is supposed to dip down below freezing again for at least 10 days. Hoping and praying that the weather gets better soon!!!

February 1, 2014
I picked up this report from internet; A producer in extreme southern Ohio has tapped. Tapping at the end of January in southern Ohio is a common practice, with most producers in that region tapping in early February and pulling the spouts by mid-March. The weather is expected to remain cold for the next 10 days in northern Ohio. Look for tapping to begin any time after the 10th of February. If you are tapping in Ohio drop me an Email at ober.10@osu.edu.

January 28, 2014
We have just wrapped up Maple days in Ohio. Great turnout and a good meeting with a lot of valuable information. During the course of the meeting I had a conversation with one of the larger maple producers in Geauga County. He proudly told me that he had made a small amount of syrup during the warm spell around the middle of January. He did not tap many, just enough to draw off the first syrup of the season. This extends his record to three years in a row tapping and boiling in January.

<January 13, 2014:
In Geauga County the weather has turned mild after a week of brutally cold temperatures. It almost feels like we should be heading to the woods to tap. Right now we are working on mainlines and finishing up lateral and drop line inspection. I have made list of possible trouble spots and we are about half way done with the list. This coming Saturday is the winter meeting for the Northwest Pennsylvania Maple syrup Producers Association in Blooming Valley Pa. A great group of producers and always a good time. On the 23rd of January will be the Ohio Maple Days. You can read about that on the main page. Looking forward to a good season. Looking forward to hearing from producers across the state and from NW Pa. I will keep you posted on the progress of the 2014 season.

8 responses to “2014 Maple Season Progress Report

  1. I’m 60 miles north of Cincinnati, Ohio, and today we had high’s of 36-40. I did not tap because the weather is supposed to dip down below freezing again for at least 10 days. Hoping and praying that the weather gets better soon!!!

  2. Reporting again from southwestern Ohio. I am going to tap Monday the 17th. The weather next week is supposed to be in the 40s an 50s, with lower night time temps. Should be good sugar making weather!!!

  3. We are having a sloppy muddy mess here in SW OH! Got my trees tapped, but it was not easy. Had to wade through over a foot of sloppy snow/slush in the bush. It is about 40 degrees here in the SW part of the state, and the temp, is supposed to be in the 50s later this week. Hoping to have a big run later this week. Only the trees on south slopes ran today, and it was not enough to gather.

  4. Reporting from SWOH again! I have not had a good run yet. The trees are running a little but not much. Hope that there is a good run before it returns to the deep freeze. I am going to boil what I have gathered all week Saturday.

  5. Tracey Obermiller

    We reside in north central Ohio and have not tapped our trees yet because there is no warm-up in sight. Yikes! Gonna be a late season…fast & furious!

  6. Tracey Obermiller

    We finally tapped our trees on Friday, hoping for the warm weather that was forcast for Sat. That didn’t happen, so maybe between today (Mon.) and tomorrow, we’ll have enough to boil.

  7. Steve Pipkin

    Barring a miracle this will be our worst year ever. Last year we made .55 gallons syrup per tap (800 taps). We’re hoping to make .2 gal per tap this year (900 taps). SWOH

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