UVM Proctor Page


Sugarmakers are urged to focus on quality, especially for fair contests

Peter Gregg | July 11, 2023

BUCKLAND, Mass.—Sugarmakers are urged to focus on quality, and double check your syrup for fair contest entries.

“Quality sometimes takes a backseat to overall production,” said Mark Isselhardt, UVM Extension Maple Specialist and the guest speaker at the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association annual meeting.

Isselhardt, who is a frequent syrup tasting judge at various contests, made a point about the disqualification rates for entries.

He said at some recent judging contests there was a 62 percent rejection rate.

At the Chittenden County Fair in Vermont, 15 entries were rejected out of 24.

At the Vermont Maple Festival in St. Albans last year, Vt. 45 entries were rejected out of 91. MORE ]


Ewwww. Bent syrup

Peter Gregg | January 25, 2023

MORRISVILLE, Vt.—Ewww, bent syrup.

Producers are being advised to keep an eye on quality as a new maple season gets underway.

One of the things to watch out for are changes in the sap at the end of the season, or whenever warm temperatures strikes, which can cause nasty effects.

UVM Extension Maple Specialist Mark Isselhardt says the ropey syrup phenomena, sometimes so thick that you can bend it with your finger, is caused by a bacteria that produce exopolysaccharides (EPS). MORE ]


UVM offers a new contract template for sap sellers

Mark Cannella, University of Vermont Extension | October 5, 2022

MORRISVILLE, Vt.—What could be worse than a ten-page legal contract?

Perhaps an eighteen-page legal agreement is a “non-starter” and you would rather bear the risk if something goes wrong.

Educators at UVM were hesitant to publish a long version for the new Sap Non-Exclusive Supply Agreement knowing that the common practice is a handshake agreement.

The challenge we faced from legal professionals and maple producers we consulted with was that there so many different considerations that could not be ignored.

The result is a robust and inclusive educational document/legal agreement template that enables a sap supplier and sap buyer to negotiate and agree to important terms guiding the arrangement.

The Maple Sap Non Exclusive Supply Agreement and an Additional Clauses Supplement factsheet are available online in the Resource Library at MORE ]


Syrup tasters sought for UVM experiment

Peter Gregg | July 6, 2022

UNDERHILL CENTER, Vt.—The UVM Proctor Maple Research Center is seeking participants July 19-20 for a maple syrup flavor experiment.

The experiment will involve tasting several samples of pure maple syrup and assessing their flavor.

To participate as a panelist, you must:

— Have experience tasting and evaluating the flavor of maple syrup (or have completed the IMSI Grading School or other syrup flavor training)
— Be at least 18 years old
— Be a healthy, nonsmoker MORE ]


Got jumping worms?

Peter Gregg | December 8, 2021

MONTPELIER, Vt.—Got jumping worms?

Vermont sugarmakers are being asked to participate in a survey to find out if jumping worms have been found in the sugarbush.

This short survey will determine how widely distributed the jumping worms are in Vermont.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets and the VT Urban and Community Forestry program are interested in finding out more about the distribution of jumping worms, Amynthas sp., in Vermont.


Maple University! Vermont maple school online this week

Peter Gregg | December 7, 2021

RANDOLPH, Vt.—Call it Maple University.

Sugarmakers everywhere are invited to Vermont’s three-day maple school this week, starting Wednesday.

“We'll be offering three days of engaging sessions,” organizers said.

Registration is free. Click on:

Sugarmakers in need of assistance with registering online call Cory (802-786-9437) or Allison (802-777-2667).

All conference sessions qualify for Continuing Forestry Education credits.


Sap flow, wounding and compartmentalization in maple

Timothy D. Perkins, Abby K. van den Berg, and Mark L. Isselhardt | June 23, 2021



Why the sap may not always flow well in the early season

Timothy D. Perkins, Abby van den Berg, Brendan Haynes | May 7, 2021

UNDERHILL CTR., Vt.—Maple producers know that when the temperature starts to rise in the spring, sap flows can’t be far behind.

But when the weather starts to warm early in the spring and temperatures seem favorable for good sap flows, they are sometimes left wondering why the sap hasn’t started to run.

There are several explanations for the disconnect between warm air temperature and a lack of flow during the early season.

First, trees are big and can have a large amount of thermal inertia (resistance to change).

By that we mean that tree temperature is buffered and will not always respond quickly to changes in air temperature.

Whereas air temperature can rise quickly during the day, it takes a while for the large mass of wood to warm up, particularly if it has been very cold prior to a warm period. MORE ]