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Kickapoo Gold has "average" year of syrup production

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Viroqua, WI -

VIROQUA, Wis. (WXOW) – The long and cold winter is over, but its affects are lasting at one local maple syrup farm.

Kickapoo Gold, an organic maple syrup business based out of Westby, saw maple syrup production fall since last year.

“A lot of it is weather, and we didn’t have quite as optimum weather conditions this year,” Kickapoo Gold co-Owner Phillip Gudgeon said.

Gudgeon has owned Kickapoo Gold since 2002, and he said compared to other years, production this year was average.

“We’ve had many worse production years and you’re always thankful when you can have a decent one, and this was decent,” Gudgeon said.

Gudgeon said the key to collecting the best sap from sap trees in order to create the best maple syrup, is a steady temperature increased from winter into spring.

This year’s drastic temperature change resulted in average freeze-thaw action, but Gudgeon said prices should remain stable for consumers and producers.

“We’re extremely weather dependent in our production, but there isn’t too much, yet there is plenty (of syrup). All maple syrup, demand is up nationwide,” Gudgeon said.

Gudgeon said production as a whole has increased over the past four years, because more people are started to prefer natural sugars instead of artificial sweeteners.

Gudgeon said it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. Kickapoo Gold has roughly 6,000 taps at nine tree farms, and their goal is to make 3,000 gallons of syrup every year.

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