REGION — Yields for maple syrup producers locally were a bit “all over the map”, but did tend to somewhat follow trends seen statewide.

An article in the Portland Press Herald June 9 noted weather conditions in northern parts of the state resulted in the lowest yield since 2012. It reported the 470,000 gallons of syrup Maine produced in 2023 was down about 25 percent from last year, when the total was 634,000 gallons, according to the crop report released that day by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The last time the state produced less than 500,000 gallons was 2012, when it logged only 445,000 gallons, the article noted. Producers around the state attributed the drop-off to suboptimal weather conditions that left the trees too cold to run sap freely at the start of the season, then warmed quickly and dramatically, curtailing flow at the end of the season, it continued.

There are 16 maple syrup producers who are members of Maine Maple Producers Association in this area. The Franklin Journal reached out to several to see how their season went. Some producers did not respond to requests for comment while others could not be reached.

Rodney Hall of East Dixfield said Hall Farms Maple Products was fortunate, lower yields were not the case for him. “It was an average year here,” he noted. “Talking with other producers, the farther north, the worse it was.”

James Black of Black Acres Farm LLC in Wilton said his family did alright. The yield wasn’t too spectacular, it was an average crop, he noted. “We missed an early run in February, didn’t get the trees tapped in time for it,” he stated. “Things are getting earlier every year.”


The season typically goes a bit later in the spring but shut right off when it got warm quick, Black said. “When you get 65 degree days, the buds come out, shuts the tree down,” he noted. North of here, places like Jackman usually run two to three weeks longer, he added.

Collin Neil of Day Mountain Maple Products in Strong said he had a good year, although it was a bit different than normal. “We made as much syrup,” he noted. “It was spotty, as I understand. There were places up north where it didn’t do well. Quebec had a terrible year. Down this way, we didn’t do too bad.”

Miguel Ibarguen of Bowley Brook Maple in Weld said his yield was average. “Places north of us did poor,” he noted. “Tom Gould in Livemore did the best he has ever done, got half a gallon of syrup per tap. Half a gallon per tap is considered really good.”

Donna Tracy of Maple Hill Farm in Farmington said her family made 800 gallons this year, an average year is about 1,000 gallons. “It was down a little bit, not too bad,” she noted. Her son, Bruce Tracy who does most of the work didn’t get started until late, had some health issues, she stated.

“You can’t find any decent help,” Donna said. “Bruce and another fellow swap work with each other a bit when they can.”

Production at Shady Lane Sugar Shack in New Vineyard was way down, Martin Lane said. “We got about half what we had last year,” he noted. “We don’t tap as many trees now as we once did. We got about 100 gallons last year, 50 some odd this year.”


Temperatures didn’t warm up as quick, then warmed up too quick, Lane stated. “There were days when we thought it would run but it hardly drizzled,” he noted. “I know people down Lewiston way who said they had a really good year.

“It’s Mother Nature, we can’t regulate what she does.”

The Lane family has been tapping maple trees in New Vineyard for 46 years, the fifth generation now works on the farm, Lane said. He noted his grandparents made maple syrup on a small scale for themselves.

“I wish we had tapped more trees this year,” Lane added.

“Our season went pretty good actually,” Mike Bolduc, Twin Brook Maples in Farmington, said. “We basically got our target yield, just a little bit higher. Our target was based on the number of taps, what we were aiming for.

“Sugar content was lower this year. We did fairly well collection wise.”

With only six years of tapping to go on, Bolduc admitted his yields aren’t a great gauge. From one side of Franklin County to the other, different weather patterns can be seen, he noted. “Franklin County north and south can see even bigger weather changes,” he added.

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