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Weather could damage syrup crop

Posted at 7:14 AM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 07:56:29-05

Warmer temperatures this winter have caused sap in maple trees to run earlier than normal.

Producers are worried about tapping early and hope Michigan's weather will stabilize.

"The unusual weather is putting stress on my maple syrup business," says Shane Hickey, owner of Hickey Farms.

The change in weather has affected his business of 23 years.

"We usually make about 2,500 gallons of syrup , but we are way down from where it needs to be," he said.

His biggest concern is the weather.

"You need really cold nights and warm days, he added. " With temperatures reaching the mid-60's last week, trees started budding early."

And when this happens, the sap will turn bitter and will not have its normal sweetness.

"If production goes down, then our syrup prices will go up," Hickey said. "This will affect all maple syrup producers in Michigan."