Charleston, W.Va. – A warmer-than-normal winter in West Virginia impacted maple syrup production in 2023. Maple syrup season in West Virginia begins in late January and can run through mid-March, depending on the elevation of the trees. In some areas of the state, the daytime temperature in February reached the upper 70’s several days. In the mountains, temperatures rose to the upper 60’s. Peak sap flow for maple trees occurs when nights are cold and daytime temperatures reach the 40’s. Many maple producers saw their season cut short due to higher temperatures during the day.
“We always hope for the best conditions possible during maple season, but sometimes Mother Nature just doesn’t cooperate,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “Despite the warmer temperatures, our maple operations still managed to produce a lot of syrup. Compare it to the maple-flavored corn syrup you find in big box stores, and I guarantee you’ll reach for pure West Virginia maple syrup every time.”
In 2023, maple syrup production totaled 11,000 gallons, down from 13,000 gallons in 2022. Maple producers tapped 69,000 trees, down from 77,000 taps in 2022. Yield-per-tap was 0.159 gallon, down from 0.169 gallon in 2022. On average, it took 64 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, compared to 63 gallons of sap last year.
The average price per gallon was $44.50 in 2022, down from $47.70 in 2021. Retail prices in 2022 were $58.30 per gallon, up from $44.20 the previous year. Wholesale prices in 2022 were $50.20 per gallon, up from $38.30 the previous year. Bulk prices in 2022 were $2.90 per pound, up from $2.50 per pound in 2021, and $31.60 per gallon, up from $27.60 per gallon the previous year. Percent of sales by type in 2022 was 32 percent retail, down from 41 percent the previous year; 20 percent wholesale, up from 9 percent in 2021; and 48 percent bulk, down from 50 percent in 2021.
United States maple syrup production in 2023 totaled 4.18 million gallons, down 15 percent from the previous season. The number of taps totaled 13.4 million, down 4 percent from the 2022 total. Yield per tap was 0.311 gallon, down 0.042 gallon from the previous season.
Average U.S. price per gallon was $34.70 in 2022, down from $35.90 per gallon in 2021. Retail prices in 2022 were $53.70 per gallon with 619,000 gallons sold. Wholesale prices in 2022 were $40.30 per gallon with 683,000 gallons sold. Bulk prices in 2022 were $2.70 per pound and $30.20 per gallon with 3,543,000 gallons sold. Value of production, at $172 million for 2022, was up 28 percent from the 2021 season.