SALEM, N.Y. — Snowmobile sales have sputtered, ski resorts are struggling and some bait shops, which rely heavily on ice fishing, can barely afford to keep their lights on.
But an exceptionally mild winter in the northern stretch of New York State has been a boon for an industry that sweetens the morning pancakes.
Maple syrup production is off to one of its earliest starts ever, setting the stage for what could be a long and record-breaking season.
“Last year we didn’t start boiling sap until the 12th of March,” David Campbell, president of the Upper Hudson Maple Producers Association, said. “This year we got started on the first of February.”
Maple syrup producers have been heading into the woods since early January to put taps in trees. Some even began at the end of last year.
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