CHILTON, Wis. (WFRV) - Last year was the worst season on record for Wisconsin maple syrup producers.
A shortage nationwide caused a spike in prices.
However, 2013 is looking up for local farmers.
"I just love being out here in the spring you can hear the birds. It is nice to get out after being cooped up all winter long" says David Meuer, owner of Meuer Farms in Chilton.
Sap is a very welcome sight to Meuer. Warm weather last winter put the state's $7.6 million industry in a sticky situation.
"Last year was a short season" explains Meuer. "We made 60 gallons".
That is a forty percent drop for the Meuer Farm alone. Production was down 68 percent statewide.
"We tapped the 15th of February" he says. "Once I saw the first batch I should have tapped the 31st of January".
This year mother nature is going with the flow.
"Snow acts like an ice box keeps the rest of the woods cool. Once you get 40-50 degree temperatures it will allow the sap to run, we want 20-30 degrees at night, like 40 -45 degrees during the day. That is what makes the sap run" Meuer says.
Sap is ideal right now with five percent sugar. According to Meuer "What the higher sugar content means is it takes less gallons of sap to make a gallon of maple syrup".
On a busy day the farm processes 240 gallons of sap. On average it takes forty gallons of sap for one gallon of syrup. It takes about 4 hours to boil it down.
You can taste the fresh syrup from the Meuer Farm this Sunday, March 10th.
The annual pancake breakfast is from 10:00 am through 2:00 pm at the farm in Chilton.
The proceeds this year will benefit the Chilton FFA. Click here for directions.