Maple syrup-makers say warm winter may hurt production

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maple producers say the warm winter has allowed them to tap trees early, but this year's harvest could be down from last year.

Maine's maple syrup season got started abnormally early this year, but producers promise the state's official sweetener will still be available when the annual maple celebration arrives on Easter Sunday.

Maine has the third-largest maple syrup industry in the country after Vermont and New York. New York producers say they expect a smaller harvest than last year. In Vermont, producers say the season has been inconsistent so far.

The arrival of warm weather and budding trees typically ends the maple season.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage symbolically kicked off the unofficial start of maple syrup season by tapping a tree Tuesday.