Warm temperatures promote good maple syrup production in WNY

ATTICA, N.Y. (WIVB) —Temperatures have been up and down this winter. The roller coaster ride has changed the typical maple syrup production. Merle maple is a 5th generation maple farm and is more successful than ever.The variable weather western New York has seen in past years has played a part in why.Because of the abnormally warm January this year, sap production is way ahead of schedule.

Greg Zimpfer, Project Manager at Merle Maple Farm, told News 4, “January is a lot warmer. Basically we’ve already made 1700 gallons of syrup here in January which is quite unusual.”

This is 4 times the amount that they typically have make going into February. It’s also allowed them to test the equipment before peak season. And although they’re excited about the head start, right now the taps are dry because of this week’s cold. But you don’t need a prolonged period of warmth to get it flowing again. Zimpfer said it only takes probably 6 or 7 hours, once it breaks freeze then sap will start running decent.

They’re hoping the 40’s expected this upcoming Tuesday and Wednesday will allow for more production.

Sap and syrup production can be as simple as tap and line, but these farmers have turned it into a real science. They use everything from reverse osmosis to vacuum censoring monitors.

Zimpfer explained, “At the end of every line we have a vacuum monitoring system we can monitor the vacuum and the temperature.”

With the help of all the equipment they have been able to expand their business from just production of maple syrup to all things maple! This includes everything from maple flavored BBQ sauce to maple cream. A tip on choosing the right one…

Lyle Merle, Owner of the farm said, “The darker the syrup, the stronger the flavor.”

But just because they’ve got the newest technology, doesn’t mean they always use it.

Florence Merle is 102 years old and still bagging maple candy nearly every day.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth this winter, you can find their goodies at local farmers markets.

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