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Maple Syrup News March 2011

  • 31

    More Jobs Through Maple Syrup

    An effort to pour more jobs into New York -- by tapping into natural resources.

    Senator Charles Schumer's sweet on a bill that would expand the maple syrup business.

    It's the sweet stuff that gets Gary Coles on a sugar high this time of year.

    During maple season, he'll single handedly produce about 3 barrels full of syrup a day at Coles Sugarhouse in Whitney Point.

    "We've had a pretty good season so far," said COles. "I'm a tubing operation, so I run these 2,200 taps by myself."

    Coles alone can turn 600 gallons of sap into syrup within an hour and a half.

    New York currently taps less than 1% of its nearly 300 million maple trees, leaving millions in revenue stuck in trees across the state. Just in time for this year's annual maple festival in Cortland County.

    Senator Charles Schumer is announcing a Maple Tapping Access Program or TAP Act. It encourages farmers to tap into maple trees currently not being used on private land -- eventually leading to more jobs and an economic boost.

    "The biggest problem we face is most of the maple trees are on private land and our bill will encourage owners to allow tappers to get them with incentives," said Schumer.

    But for some maple syrup makers like Coles, the bill won't help them. "I can double the size of my operation, but I can't handle it," said Coles. "I have 400 acres, I'm only tapping 60 acres of it so. "There are some maple producers that lease all their tap. But see I own my taps, so I don't worry about it."

    Despite having 200 million more maple trees in New York than in Quebec. The Canadian province taps 40 more million maple trees every year, and still stands as the world's leader in syrup production.

    Central New York's Maple Festival runs this weekend in Marathon

  • 31

    Maple sugar producers expect better year

    PITTSFIELD -- Local maple sugar producers are hoping cold nights and warm days will make for a sweet spring.

    The warm-cold combo is the perfect recipe for making maple syrup, roughly 50,000 gallons of which are produced annually in Massachusetts. Cool nights and warm days helps the sap flow, which is drawn from maple trees by tools ranging from taps to tubes and vacuums.

    "We're having a great season," said Carla Turner, who co-owns Turner Farms Maple Syrup in Egremont with her husband, Paul Turner.

    "Anything after last season has got to be great. When it gets too hot outside, you're done," she said, adding that a sugaring season can run from late February into early April.

    Winton Pitcoff, coordinator of the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association (MMPA), echoed Turner's sentiments about last year's season.

    "It's a little early to tell how this year will end up, but it's certainly better than last," he said.

    Maple syrup pumps about $3 million annually into Massachusetts' economy, according to the nonprofit MMPA, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting the Bay State's sugaring industry.

    It's also one of the only tourist draws during dreaded "mud season," luring around 60,000 visitors annually to sugar shacks, roughly 80 percent of which are located in hilltowns west of Interstate 91. All told, these tourists spend an estimated $1 million annually on syrup, according to Pitcoff.

  • 30

    54 Beneficial Compounds in Pure Maple Syrup

    34 new beneficial compounds in pure maple syrup have been discovered and University of Rhode Island researcher Navindra Seeram confirmed that 20 compounds discovered last year in preliminary research play a key role in human health.

  • 24

    That is something! A live webcast of a real sugar shack, wow!

    For those of you who aren't able to visit Quebec during the springtime maple syrup production season, offers you an opportunity to follow the whole process live from inside a sugar house via four cameras.

    For all those wetching this live web feed, be aware that maple sap harvesting takes place during the day and the evaporation process starts in the late afternoon, in keeping with the volume of maple sap harvested.

  • 21

    Why maple is a staple in the economy of Vermont

    Vermont’s maple sugaring farms are not merely an industry but a representation of the state’s rural nature in the eyes of the nation and world.

    Nonetheless, the production of syrup and other maple products is hardly an old-fashioned or static activity.

    In recent years, Vermont has seen an influx of newcomers to maple sugaring, many spurred by higher prices and profits. And that’s been matched by use of more sophisticated technology, experts say.

    The state just celebrated Maple Weekend under conditions that in many places have been ideal recently for good sap flow in maple trees— warmer days and colder nights.

  • 11

    USDA Treats Worcester County, Mass., Trees Against Asian Longhorned Beetle

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will treat 96,000 trees susceptible to the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) this spring with the insecticide imidacloprid in Worcester County, Mass. ALB treatments will start the week of April 25, weather permitting, within portions of the city of Worcester, as well as portions of the towns of Holden, West Boylston, Boylston and Shrewsbury.

    The public can assist the eradication effort by allowing program officials access to their property to evaluate susceptible trees for any signs of ALB infestation and/or to treat trees that are susceptible to ALB infestation. Chemical treatments will only be applied to noninfested ALB host trees. All ALB infested trees or trees showing signs of infestation must be removed and destroyed in order to eliminate the ALB infestation. This action applies to treated trees as well.

    Prior to the start of control treatments, state and federal experts from the Massachusetts ALB Cooperative Eradication Program will host four public meetings to present current plans for implementing control treatments and answer questions. Each meeting is being held from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on the following dates:

    Monday, March 14, Worcester Technical High School, 1 Skyline Drive, Worcester; Tuesday, March 15, Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, 11 French Drive, Boylston; Wednesday, March 16, Beaman Memorial Library, 8 Newton Street, West Boylston; Thursday, March 17, Holden Senior Center, Holden.

    Program officials will contact property owners within the designated treatment areas to obtain a signed treatment release prior to the use of control treatments. Control treatments are a vital component of the area-wide eradication strategy. APHIS encourages all property owners within the treatment areas to support the treatment of host trees.

  • 11

    Governor kicks off sugaring season

    It's the sound of spring.

    "When you can walk down a road with rows of buckets on the maple trees after the buckets have been collected and the sap is still dripping into them and you can hear that ping, ping, ping," said Mike Ghia, a sugar maker at the Vermont Academy.

    Gov. Peter Shumlin marked the beginning of sugaring season by tapping a tree. It wasn't the first time he tapped one, but it was his first as the governor of Vermont.

    "I used to sugar as a kid, it's something that I love to do, most Vermont kids do and it's a big part of our life and our economy," said Shumlin, D-Vermont.

    Shumlin says it's important to market the Vermont maple brand, especially as we pull out of an economic slump. As far as Vermont agriculture goes, syrup is selling.

  • 11

    Heavy snow hard on province's maple syrup producers

    Maple syrup producers in southern New Brunswick are feeling the strain of the hard winter, with many saying the huge amounts of snow on the ground could hamper this year's syrup season.

    It's an industry that depends largely on the weather and this year, the weather hasn't been kind.

    Deep snow in the woods has buried and damaged sap lines. It's so deep that some producers are wondering whether to even bother this year.

    Kim Renton and her husband, Dale, are part of the Renton Brothers Sugar Bush operation in Stilesville, north of Moncton. It's a small operation with about 1,500 maple taps that sells all of its finished products from their camp behind the Stilesville Church.

    The Rentons are now into their fifth generation of maple syrup production and they spend weeks every year getting ready for the maple run.

    But this year hasn't been like any other, with the huge amounts of snow in the woods covering sap lines, Kim Renton said. Family members and friends have been busy for days digging out and repairing broken lines and tapping into the trees. About three-quarters of the taps are in so far, she said.

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