Maple syrup production in WV dropped over 15% in 2021

West Virginia

FILE-In this Oct. 27, 2011, file photo, bottles of maple syrup sit in a window in East Montpelier, Vt. Vermonters have grown accustomed to their “fancy” “amber” and “grade B” types of maple syrup but new consumers may not be so sweet on the terms. So the country’s largest producer of the pancake topping is thinking of doing away with those terms and adopting new international names with flavor descriptions to help consumers delineate between four different colored and flavored syrups and to match new worldwide terms. The four classifications would be golden color, delicate taste; amber color, rich taste; dark color, robust taste; and very dark color, strong taste. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia’s maple syrup production is slightly down from the previous year, but the state still produced a total of 13,000 gallons of maple syrup this season. This is about 18.75%, or 3,000 gallons, less than the year before.

According to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, the yield per tap correlated with the overall production decrease, with taps producing an average of 0.169 gallons. This number is down from the 0.213 gallons per tap produced in 2020. Despite the production decrease, the state added 2,000 more taps this year for a total of 77,000 taps.

“Weather remains a key factor for how successful our maple seasons end up. If it is too warm, it can severely hinder the sap’s flow resulting in lower production levels,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “An optimistic note is we continue to see more taps placed in trees which will only lead to positive results for the industry.”

The WV Department of Agriculture says the first date sap was collected in the state was Jan. 12 with the final collection date on April 6. Maple syrup season ran from Feb. 13 to March 16.

According to the department, maple syrup production decreased by 17% nationwide with a total of 3.42 million gallons produced. However, the total number of taps across the country went up about 2% to 13.3 million Tap yields from this season also dropped by 0.057 gallons to a yield of 0.257 gallons per tap. The national maple syrup season lasted 27 days, the department says.

The WV Department of Agriculture says nationally, the U.S. maple production came in at a value of $132 million in 2020 with the average price per gallon at $32.20, a decrease of 27% from the previous year. Officials say bulk prices also dropped from the previous $2.10 per pound to $1.90 per pound in 2020, however bulk price per gallon had a $1 increase to $21. According to the department, bulk sales dominated the market last year with 83% of the sales. Retail sales followed at 11% and wholesale at 6%.

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