MAKANDA — Unseasonably warm weather in southern Illinois this winter is putting a dent in maple syrup production.
The Southern Illinoisan reports the temperatures have affected the amount of sap collected from trees at Southern Illinois University’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center in Makanda.
Environmental Education Program Coordinator Steve Gariepy says sap was collected a couple times, but “this long warm spell has put a damper on our efforts.”
Temperatures need to be about 27 degrees overnight and 50 degrees during the day for optimal sap production.
The sap is collected by drilling into trees and inserting a spout. Once buckets are full the sap is boiled at about 219 degrees. The resulting syrup is poured into canning jars.
Touch of Nature is holding its Maple Syrup Festival this weekend.