This past June nearly 70 current and potential birch sap and syrup producers from all over the world got together for 3 days at Paul Smiths College in the heart of the Adirondacks to network and share information. There were plenty of existing maple sugarmakers from the northeast who are already producing birch syrup or thinking of doing so along with birch sap and syrup producers from Alaska, nearly every Canadian province, eastern Europe and Russia. [ MORE ]
American beech and many other native and non-native woody plants can dominate a woodland, exclude or limit the regeneration of desired plant species, and limit the biodiversity of the site. In high abundance, these species can complicate access for maple producers. Often these interfering species gain dominance because of selective deer browsing of desired plant species, and prolonged deer pressure can create a legacy effect that persists even if deer impacts are controlled.
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During the 2014 maple season the Cornell Maple Program conducted three demonstration sites using 3/16” maple tubing. Each demonstration site was set up in the month of February and tapped the last week of February. The first sap run occurred on March 10th. The demonstrations were set up to compare sap yield from a new 5/16” lateral line with 8 taps using 5/16” standard black check valve spouts on new 5/16” drop lines with sap yield from a new 3/16” lateral line with 8 taps using 5/16” standard black check valve spouts on a new 5/16” drop lines for 8 inches then fitted to 3/16” drop line.
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At the most recent meeting of the International Maple Syrup Institute and North American Maple Syrup Council in Nova Scotia, the IMSI brought in Ellen LaNicca to speak about joint marketing efforts in the agricultural sector. [ MORE ]
A very important factor in making quality maple value added products is to size sugar crystals so the product feels great to the customers’ mouth. For some products such as maple candy and maple cream a very smooth mouth feel is preferred by most customers. If making maple granulated maple sugar a grainier texture is preferred. Unfortunately it is much easier to make grainy textured creams and candies than smooth textured due to the extra attention required to make sure a smooth texture is accomplished. [ MORE ]
Although many sugarmakers have heard that you can tap birch trees, very few of us have actually tried to produce birch syrup, and folks who have boiled down some birch sap have mostly had negative experiences. The sugar content of birch is much lower than maple sap (usually between .5-1 brix), so it takes a very long time to boil it down, especially when it’s done on a small scale without efficient processing technologies. [ MORE ]
In the previous issue of The Maple News, I submitted an article summarizing the research carried out by the Parker Family Maple Farm comparing the differences in their yields and profitability when utilizing different combinations of spouts and droplines.
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