MONTPELIER, Vt. — Buoyed by good weather and new technology, the owners of the Baird Farm in North Chittenden, Vt., this year produced the most maple syrup they've ever made — 3,130 gallons. And they're not alone.

U.S. maple production jumped 43 percent from 2010, a mediocre year, to 2.79 million gallon this year, easily beating the record set two years ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Vermont continues to be the leader with 1.14 million gallons, the first time the state has exceeded 1 million gallons since the 1940s.

Officials say good weather, increased demand for syrup and expanded maple production are reasons for the surge. With demand strong and prices steady — from an estimated $40 to $60 a gallon — some syrup producers are expanding and others are just getting into it.

The number of taps placed in maple trees increased 5 percent in Vermont to 3.3 million, nearly 6 percent in New York to 2.1 million and 8 percent in Pennsylvania to 503,000 this year.

"So that's definitely affecting production but the weather is the main reason for it," said Hernan Ortiz, of the New England field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Concord, N.H.

Freezing nights followed by warm days is prime sugaring weather. That's when frozen trees full of sap thaw out and push out sap through holes and then freeze up at night and suck in moisture from the ground for more sap production.

"For most of the maple community the weather conditions were favorable this spring," said Glenn Goodrich of Goodrich's Maple Farm in Cabot, Vt.

But for some higher-elevation sugar bushes, like Goodrich's Maple Farm, it was too cold this spring, especially in March, said Goodrich, who is vice president of the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association.

Still, all producers benefited from a good growing season last year, with ample sun and rain, which made for healthy, productive trees, Goodrich said.

Technology also likely played a role in the syrup production growth, from vacuum tube systems that pull the sap from maple trees and new taps with valves designed to prevent sap flowing back into the trees.

The new device was developed by Timothy Perkins, director of the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center, in conjunction with maple industry supplier Leader Evaporator Co., which says it sold 2 million this year and more than 2 million last year.

Bob Baird and his wife added the new check valve spouts between 2010 and 2011 and he thinks they've made a difference. But he can't be sure what boosted their yield by 630 gallons this year from the same 5,000 trees.

"And I'm not sure if it's because of the weather, some of the changes that we made in our operation, it's hard to tell for sure," he said.