Small amounts of syrup already have been produced in southern and central Maine, the No. 3 syrup-producing state behind Vermont and New York. Eric Ellis, a manager at Maine Maple Products in Madison and vice president of the Maine Maple Producers Association, said producers statewide are tapping their trees.
"There certainly is concern, but going into any season there's always a little bit of doubt," Ellis said. "We don't really know until it's over what the crop's going to be."
Bodan Peters, president of the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association, said he probably will wait until early March to set up his 800 taps in Sugar Hill. The mild winter doesn't have him too concerned.
"Everything leading up to this point is just what gets thrown at us," said Peters, who grew up on a farm and has been tapping his own trees for 12 years.
"If you're going to get into maple sugaring, you've got to love it, the good and the bad about it," he said. "If you can actually pay for your equipment, that's a plus."