ANTIGO (WAOW)--Sunday is the first official day of spring, but the rain is not a welcome sight for tappers hoping to collect sap for maple syrup. Temperature and sunlight are very important factors for sap flow, and local tappers are hoping for better conditions than they saw last year.
Jim Adamski of Adamski's Sugar Bush in Antigo says sap yields are tied directly to the weather. "The weather that we're looking for is nights in the mid 20s and days in the mid 40s with some sunshine."
Tappers are hoping for a season like the one they had two years ago. In fact, it was a record-breaking year for Wisconsin Maple Syrup production. According to the USDA, 200,000 gallons of syrup were produced in Wisconsin in 2009. Due to higher temperatures, only 170,000 were produced in 2010.
Adamski says unpredictable weather is the name of the game. "Its' really hard to manage. We really don't know our crop size until we get three quarters of the way through our season."
The weather so far this season has been less than ideal. Colder temperatures and a lack of sunlight mean less sap to make syrup. The Adamski's create their own in-house.
It's still early yet, and Adamski said the season usually runs through April.
"Once the frost stops, basically were done," he says.
Here's hoping mother nature brings on the sun so we can continue to soak our short stacks with delicious Wisconsin made maple syrup.