The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service or NASS has released the crop totals for the 2020 maple season. People familiar with maple sugaring might remember that it takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. This ratio is not fixed however as sap sweetness can vary with a given day, year or between years. Generally speaking, sap sweetness begins low, rises to a highpoint somewhere in the middle of the season and then drops to another low point at the end of the season. In 2020, many Vermont sugar makers reported sap sweetness being below average even though temperatures were good for ample sap flow. Part of the NASS survey asks sugar makers about sap sweetness. On average, Vermont sugar makers needed 52 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup. Other states that saw lower sap sweetness were NH and PA that needed 59 and 62 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup respectively. The state with producers reporting the sweetest sap was Maine, needing only 37 and Wisconsin 39 gallons. In general sap sweetness is controlled by individual tree genetics (some trees are just sweeter than others), climate, access to abundant sunlight and tree size. Careful forest management planning can help maximize the sap sweetness and forest health.