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Sweet season for maple syrup makers in Minn.

Many maple syrup producers in northern Minnesota are churning out record harvests this spring thanks to the lingering winter weather, Minnesota Public Radio reports. Maple trees do best when temperatures fluctuate below and above the freezing mark.

“Our crop this year, at this point we’re sitting at 1,204 finished gallons of syrup. My previous best had been about 1,100 gallons,” Dave Rogotzke, who taps 5,500 maple trees in Lakewood Township, told the station. “Who knows we might get a day or two yet to add to that record.”

Rogotzke said this is the most syrup he has produced in more than a dozen years.

“In this area it’s a record harvest for us, and I’m hearing that from other producers,” Stu Peterson, president of the Minnesota Maple Syrup Producers Association who taps trees in west-central Minnesota, told MPR. “We’ve been getting reports from members around the state. We’re just hearing everybody has had a really long, lengthy, and very productive season.”

It’s a sharp contrast to last year when unseasonably record warm weather caused the worst year for syrup production in memory.

Maple syrup collectors in Wisconsin are also happy with this year’s haul.

“It was an extended season,” Renee Miller, the sales and marketing manager for Maple Valley Cooperative in Cashton, told the La Crosse Tribune. “It kind of made up for last year.”

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April 23, 2014