Thursday, March 8, 2007


Welcome to Maple Weekend
March 17-18 & 24-25, 2007
10am-4pm each day

2007 Maple Weekend Scheduled for March 17-18 and March 24-25Bring your family and visit several operations to see the variety of equipment and methods used to make maple syrup and sample a variety of maple products. Many producers provide wagon rides to the woods, tapping demonstrations, and historical displays. Some producers offer pancake meals and many local civic organizations hold pancake breakfasts.

New York maple syrup 2006 production increased 14 percent from last year’s below-average crop. Syrup production is estimated at 253,000 gallons, up from the 222,000 gallons produced in 2005 according to Stephen Ropel, Director of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office. Only two states, Vermont and Maine, produced more syrup. The number of taps, 1.53 million, increased 8 percent from last year. Syrup produced per tap averaged 0.165 gallons, up from 0.156 gallons in 2005. The final value of the 2005 crop is $7.04 million, two percent below the previous year’s value of production. However, the overall price was $31.70, up 12 percent from the previous year’s price.

From the Tree to Your Table
As winter grudgingly gives way to spring, New York State maple syrup producers begin the work of making maple syrup. The temperature climbs to the 40’s in the day and eases back below freezing at night. Warm days and cool nights cause the sap to run through the trees. This is known as the “sugaring off” season.
A sugar maple tree is usually 30 years old or more and at least ten inches in diameter before it is tapped. Depending on its size, a tree can have up to four taps, each of which yields an average of ten gallons of sap per season.
A large number of New York’s maple producers have put away their metal spiles and buckets. They save time and collect more sap by connecting their maple trees, collectively known as a sugarbush, with a network of plastic tubing. The sap flows to collecting vats or, in some larger operations, is pumped directly to the sugar house. This is where the sap is transformed into syrup.
When the sap first arrives in the sugarhouse it is mostly water and bears little resemblance to the beautiful amber liquid we eventually use on our pancakes. The sap to syrup conversion happens when most of the water s boiled away. During “sugaring off” season, sap is evaporated continuously until the supply of sap is converted to pure maple syrup. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon syrup.
This evaporation process, like the collection of sap from the trees, has been completely modernized. New York State maple producers use sophisticated equipment to control the evaporation process and make the most efficient use of the fuel used for this process.

Open Sugar Houses
Many sugar houses are open to the public during maple season and at other times of the year. Look for these signs like these along highways or on sugar houses. New York’s maple producers are very proud of what they do and are always willing to share their interest and knowledge.

Visit the American Maple Museum in Croghan, New York. Exhibits depict the history of maple syrup and sugar making techniques ranging from those used by the Native Americans to plastic tubing and stainless steel evaporators in use today. Audio tapes explain many of the exhibits. The Museum was founded in 1977 to preserve the history and evolution of the North American maple syrup industry. Admission charged. Call ahead for Museum hours (315) 346-1107.

New York State Maple Producers
The New York State Maple Producers Association is comprised of almost 400 of the finest syrup makers in the United States. Our purpose is to increase the production of New York State maple syrup and enhance its sale across the nation.

Maple Weekend began more than a decade ago when Wyoming County maple producers opened their doors to the public to showcase the production of maple products from tree to table. The first event, known then as Maple Sunday, demonstrated how maple syrup was made by tapping trees, collecting sap and boiling it into syrup. Producers also provided samples and sold maple products to the public.

Now Maple Weekend occurs statewide and the event has grown so much that the maple producers had to add an extra weekend. This year, Maple Weekend will be March 17-18 & 24-25 from 10am – 4pm each day.

The word is spreading about award-winning New York Sate maple syrup, recently named best-tasting in the United States. And while Vermont syrup packers probably won’t admit it, New York State Maple Producers often sell bulk syrup to Vermont.

New York State – Fourth Leading Producer of Maple Syrup Worldwide.

In 2006, New York State’s approximately 1,500 maple syrup producers made more than 253,000 gallons of syrup according to the New York Agricultural Statistics Service. That was an increase of 14% from 2005. But even with the boost in production only two other states, Vermont and Maine, produced more syrup. Canada is the largest maple syrup producing country in the world.

New York’s 1.53 million taps produce enough sap to account for almost 18% of the maple syrup made in the United States. That averages 0.221 gallons of syrup for every tap in the state.

The final value of the 2005 crop, which was down because of poor weather, is estimated at $7.037 million. The crop value for 2006 will be released in June of 2007.

The economic impact of maple production in New York State was an estimated $28.2 million in 2005. According the New England Agricultural Statistics Service, in the year 2005 it took an average of 43 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.

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