By jmorourke on Apr 01, 2012
Like many professionals, I get a lot of my news from Google e-mail alerts that I’ve set up to keep track of key industry trends and competitive news. In the past few weeks, I’ve been getting a number of news alerts about SAP. Below are a few recent examples:
Warm weather cuts short US maple sugaring season – by Toby Talbot, AP
MILWAUKEE – Temperatures in Wisconsin had already hit the high 60s when Gretchen Grape and her family began tapping their 850 maple trees. They had waited for the state's ceremonial tapping to kick off the maple sugaring season. It was moved up five days, but that didn't make much difference.
For Grape, the typically month-long season ended nine days later. The SAP had stopped flowing in a record-setting heat wave, and the 5-quart collection bags that in a good year fill in a day were still half-empty. Instead of their usual 300 gallons of syrup, her family had about 40.
Maple syrup producers across the North have had their season cut short by unusually warm weather. While those with expensive, modern vacuum systems say they've been able to suck a decent amount of sap from their trees, producers like Grape, who still rely on traditional taps and buckets, have seen their year ruined.
"It's frustrating," said the 69-year-old retiree from Holcombe, Wis. "You put in the same amount of work, equipment, investment, and then all of a sudden, boom, you have no SAP."
Home & Garden: Too-Early Spring Means Sugaring Woes - by Georgeanne Davis for The Free Press
Over this past weekend, forsythia and daffodils were blooming in the southern parts of the state as temperatures climbed to 85 degrees, and trees began budding out, putting an end to this year's maple syrup production even as the state celebrated Maine Maple Sunday.
Maple sugaring needs cold nights and warm days to induce SAP flows. Once the trees begin budding, SAP can still flow, but the SAP is bitter and has an off taste. Many farmers and dairymen count on sugaring for extra income, so the abbreviated season is a real financial loss for them, akin to the shortened shrimping season's effect on Maine lobstermen.
SAP season comes to a sugary Sunday finale – Kennebec Journal, March 26th, 2012
Rebecca Manthey stood out in the rain at the entrance of Old Fort Western keeping watch over a cast iron kettle of boiling SAP hooked to a tripod over a wood fire. Manthey and the rest of the Old Fort Western staff -- decked out in 18th-century attire -- joined sugar houses across the state in observance of Maine Maple Sunday. The annual event is sponsored by the Department of Agriculture and the Maine Maple Producers Association. She said the rain hadn't kept people from coming to enjoy all the events at the fort surrounding the production of Maple syrup.
"In the 18th century, you would be boiling SAP in the woods, so I would be in the woods," Manthey explained to the families who circled around her. "People spent weeks and weeks in the woods. You don't want to cook it to fast or it would burn. When it looks like the right consistency then you send it (into the kitchen) to be made into sugar."
Manthey said she enjoyed portraying an 18th-century woman, even in the rain, which didn't seem to bother visitors either. There was a steady stream of families touring the fort and enjoying the maple syrup demonstrations.
I hope you enjoy these updates on SAP – Happy April Fool’s Day!