Long season helps make Vermont top maple syrup producer

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Vermont's longer-than-average maple season helped make it the nation's largest producer of maple syrup, yielding 1.9 million gallons of the sweet stuff this year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Vermont's average maple season lasted 52 days, up from an average of 46 days last year and 44 days in 2016.

It takes warm days and freezing temperatures at night for sap to flow in maple trees. If temperatures get too high, the season abruptly ends with the appearance of buds on maple trees. Vermont's average season started on Feb. 23 and ran through April 16.

The number of taps in maple trees also continues to increase in Vermont.

New York yielded the second-highest amount of syrup, producing more than 800,000 gallons, followed by Maine, with more than 530,000 gallons.

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