UNDERHILL CENTER, Vt. — Researchers at the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center are working on a prototype spout and stubby combination designed to separate the sap from the gases released by the tree in order to maintain a high level of vacuum at the taphole.
“Preliminary testing over several seasons has shown that dual-line tubing and spout systems such as this can result in a 15-20% increase in sap flow,” said Dr. Timothy Perkins, research professor and director at the center.
Perkins said researchers there have tested the dual-line tubing with a variety of different spout configurations since early development began in the fall of 2008. Full scale field testing began last season. They are still waiting on final results, but they are expected after the end of the 2013 season and will be published in the Maple Digest.
For this particular prototype, Proctor has approximately 200 spouts in the field. Cornell University maple researchers are working on similar prototypes. Additionally, a company in Canada has also done some testing of this concept, Perkins said.
“All the studies I am aware of have found essentially the same thing…..about a 15-20% improvement in sap yield,” Perkins said.
The final version would be an injection-molded product.
“If the results are similar to what we have found previously, I would expect that this might be available to maple producers within about a year,” Perkins said.