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Warming temperatures start 2018’s agriculture season early

Flickr user Shawn Harquail

The first agricultural harvest season for the year is underway, harvesting maple sap. Syrup producers said it started a little early this year.

In Isabella County people who turn sap into syrup, or sugar-makers, said they started collecting sap last week and have already turned nearly 20,000 gallons of sap into more than 400 gallons of syrup.

Arnie Hammel is a syrup making volunteer in Shepherd. He said most years they expect to start collection in early March.

“So, it will end by about the end of March and the first of April. It’s about a six week period of time, it varies. Some years it’s been very brief. It all depends on mother nature”.

Hammel said because the sap started running early this year, it could be a longer season.

He said the sap will keep flowing as long as temperatures go below freezing at night and rises a few degrees above freezing in the day.