Despite a season shortened by cold weather, Vermont has retained its crown as the top maple syrup-producing state in the country in 2019, bottling almost 2.1 million gallons of the sticky stuff.
According to data released Wednesday by the US Department of Agriculture, the state’s producers put out about 6 million taps this year — the most since 1928 and a 6 percent increase over 2018. Yield per tap was up slightly to .345 gallon.
The cold temperatures meant many producers got a late start. Production season lasted 34 days in 2019, the USDA’s said, compared to 52 days in 2018,
The latest statistics reflect the steady growth of the maple-syrup industry in Vermont since 2003, when producers tapped 2.1 million trees and produced about 500,000 gallons.
“This growth shows the strength of maple and the tremendous opportunities for Vermont and its sugar makers,“ said state Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts.
The value of this year’s production won’t be available for another year. In 2018, the state produced $54.3 million worth of syrup, up 1 percent from 2017. The average per-gallon price was $28, compared to $27 the previous year.