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The Telegram
  • Maple syrup production increases across state

  • Despite some challenges, maple taps have increased across the state over the years, and New York ranks second in the nation for maple producing.

    This weekend, maple producers around the state are giving the public an opportunity to taste the local product.

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  • Maple is a fickle product.
    The key temperatures for a good season are 40 degrees by day and 25 degrees at night.
    “We’re never happy; we’re difficult farmers,” said West Edmeston maple producer Ben Benjamin. “If it gets too warm, it shuts off the taps.”
    Despite the challenge, taps have increased across the state over the years, and New York ranks second in the nation for maple producing.
    Benjamin said he’s increased his taps about 10 percent over the last few years.
    Tapping the taps
    The number of taps statewide increased 3 percent from 2.07 million in 2011 to 2.13 million in 2012 — the largest number since 1950, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Syrup production has increased over the years as well, from 210,000 gallons in 2003 to 360,000 gallons in 2012.
    Cutting regulations
    The importance of maple syrup is mirrored in the state Senate Republicans’ recent proposal to cut regulations and expand opportunities for producers as dictated in the Grown in New York plan. State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, who approves of the plan, said he’d like to see the industry grow in the state. “I think we should be No.1,” he said.
    Maple Weekend events
    This weekend, maple producers around the state released the aroma of sweet maple, hosting pancake breakfasts and tours to give curious people the opportunity to taste the local product.
    A full list of activities can be found at www.mapleweekend.com.

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