|Buckets hanging on trees at a maple producer in Lewis County March 9.|
It's the sweetest time of the year -- maple sugaring time.
Remember to head out to visit your local maple syrup producer during Maple Weekends -- March 16 and 17 or March 23 and 24.
Go to http://www.mapleweekend.com/locations.php to find a maple producer near you.
By the way, these shots were taken Saturday of buckets hanging collecting sap at a site in the town of Diana in Lewis County. Lewis County is the largest producer of maple syrup in New York state.
Producers are hoping for a better season this year than 2012. Remember last March -- sap had started to flow, but then most of the state experienced summer-like temperatures, which shut down the sap flow and virtually ended the maple season. Production in 2012 was down 36 percent from 2011, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
New York ranks second in the country in maple syrup production. Only Vermont produces more. Its producers made 1.14 million gallons in 2011, double that of New York. In 2012, New York producers made 360,000 gallons, down from the 564,000 gallons made in 2011.
Most recent figures for value of maple syrup production in New York:
*Figures will be available June 2013.
Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service