The International Maple Syrup Institute and the North American Maple Syrup Council held their annual meetings concurrently in Bar Harbor, Maine. A large delegation of members of both groups participated. Always a highlight of the annual meetings is the large trade show with equipment manufacturers showing all the latest technology, along with the basics, to producers from all the maple-producing states and provinces in the United States and Canada.
A big hit this year was the new spout developed by the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center. This adaptor has proven to increase sap production between 50 and 90 percent by preventing a backflow of sap into the tree from tubing. Dr. Tim Perkins, director of the center, is the inventor, and UVM has patented the device. This device is an affordable way to keep the trees flowing longer, therefore making more syrup from the same trees. Leader Evaporator, Inc. of Swanton, Vt., has licensed the product from the University of Vermont and has at least 2 million spouts in production.
The major topic of discussion was the proposal by the IMSI to adopt one international grading standard for maple syrup. The IMSI has been working on this issue since 2001, with committee work and research on both sides of the border.
Full details of the meetings and awards programs will be in December’s column.
Vermont effort pays off
The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation announced in September that three Vermont maple producers have been licensed to tap sugar maples on state land. The Vermont Maple Sugar Maker’s Association and the Vermont Maple Industry Council have been working on access to state land for at least 20 years.
This past spring, the agreement was reached, and the department announced that they would take applications for the use of eight new sites on state lands. Those sites included Groton State Forest in Groton, Green Mountain State Forest in Stowe and the Okemo State Forest in Mount Holly. The department received six applications for three of the sites by the July deadline.
A Maple Advisory Board has been established to advise the department on this leasing program. The board is made up of representatives of the department, UVM Extension, sugar makers and the Vermont forest products industry. They will advise Commissioner Jason Gibbs.
License agreements have been negotiated for each site and the approved applicants for a five-year period, with options for two additional five-year periods. The license for each approved sugar maker was developed based on the conditions of the site. Fees include a standard one-time $50 administrative fee and an annual fee based on the number of taps in the sugar bush.
Sugar makers who were approved for this new program are Glenn Goodrich of Cabot, Lewis Coty of Stowe and Mark Turco of Mount Holly.
The author is a retired extension maple specialist who continues to report on maple news from around the maple world. Comment or question? Visit www.farmingforumsite.com and join in the discussions.