Relentless winter delays Ohio's maple syrup season

CLEVELAND (AP) — The unrelenting winter is turning out to be particularly bitter for Ohio's maple syrup producers.

Syrup season in the state typically begins by mid-February, but many producers still haven't tapped their trees. The Plain Dealer reports (http://bit.ly/1bOZHBb) that's because of the unusually frigid February.

Ideal syrup conditions are warm days followed by below-freezing nights.

Of the 12 states in the country that produce syrup, Ohio typically ranks fourth or fifth. The state produced 155,000 gallons of the sweet stuff in 2013, beaten only by Vermont, New York, Maine and Wisconsin.

Bill Belew's Auburn Township farm in northeastern Ohio typically produces 350 to 400 gallons of maple syrup a year. He says this season is the latest he's had to wait to tap his trees.

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