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updated: 4/2/2013 8:37 AM

Cold weather helps N. Ind. maple syrup producers

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Associated Press

NEW PARIS, Ind. -- Maple syrup producers in northern Indiana say the unusually cold weather so far this year has led to one of their best seasons in recent memory.

Richard Snider told The Elkhart Truth that nights are cold enough for the sap to freeze and the days have been warm enough allow the sap to run again. Experts say syrup flows best when daytime highs hit the low 40s and overnight lows are in the 20s. The extended cold weather in March allowed for less contact between the sap and bacteria for a longer period.

Snider said he started tapping maple syrup a week earlier than usual this year and then extended production another week because of the temperatures.

Last year, Snider produced 1,605 gallons of syrup with an average of 53.6 gallons of sap producing a gallon of syrup. This year, he produced 1,694 gallons of syrup with an average of 41 gallons of sap producing a gallon of syrup. He says that means sap was sweeter this year than in 2012, he said.

"It was a good year all in all."

Silas Beachler of Beachler Sugar Bush in Sidney said had also has had a good season.

"It's one of the best seasons we've ever had, actually," he said.

Beachler nearly doubled his production from 1,600 gallons of syrup in 2012 to about 3,500 this year. He also saw a sweeter sap this year, which helped him produce more syrup with less sap.

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