An examination of why and how maple sugarmakers can make their operations carbon-neutral.
Showing 1 – 10 of 378 resources
Over two-thirds of consumers say that living a more sustainable lifestyle is important to them. Eco-friendly and Fair Trade claims are attractive to consumers, but the marketplace is still trying to clarify what lies behind these claims and if shoppers really follow through with their interests in the form of purchases. Consumer sentiment research looked at retail sales from 2017-2020 and showed that consumer spending on products with environmental, social and governance (ESG) claims grew at a faster rate than products without such claims (Am et al., 2023).
Without a freeze, the flow of sap will continue to slow and eventually stop because there is no longer a difference between the pressure inside and outside of the tree. However, producers often observe an uptick in sap flow during the daytime over a few days. Why does this occur? Where did the extra sap come from? Typically, these short bursts of increased sap flow happen when the temperature warms over the next few days. The warm temperature causes gas bubbles in the wood fibers to expand and squeeze more water from the wood tissues, where it flows into the vessels and out through the taphole. This might occur for a couple of days, and eventually turn into slow weeping flows before ceasing entirely.
Judged maple syrup contests originated as a friendly competition amongst producers in the early part of the 20th century. More recently, these competitions have evolved into a valuable opportunity for producers to improve their practice and evaluate their production methods. The grading system employed in the judging process facilitates communication about the uniqueness of pure maple syrup. The world standard definitions, uniform grading system, and related guidelines have been developed to promote uniformity throughout the maple industry. In competition, the same standards apply, regardless of where the contest is being held. As maple judging has evolved, so have the guidelines. Every region has contributed to the refinement of these criteria, as the process of judging has become more sophisticated and widespread. Producers throughout the US and Eastern Canada have begun to embrace maple judging as they understand the value of knowing how to make syrup to a high standard. Consumers benefit from the emphasis on taste, and off-flavored syrup is kept out of the market.
Vacuum and gravity “pull” sap down lateral lines. Friction “uses up” energy. The energy that is lost in this case is vacuum (gravity is constant). Reducing friction in the tubing system preserves energy and preserves vacuum further up the line. If making tubing larger or smoother due to cost or implementation issues, the next best way to reduce friction in tubing is to reduce turbulence, especially at fittings. This can be readily achieved through two simple modifications. The first method is to incorporate a bevel into the entrance and exit of all fittings. The second modification is to incorporate an arc where sap streams meet.
While there are both good and bad impacts on maple syrup producers due to climate change, overall, the effects will be negative. On the plus side, longer summers mean longer growing seasons for maple trees. However, regionally this longer growing season will increasingly be accompanied by periods of extended drought – particularly in more southern latitudes. This in turn may hinder root growth and performance. As maple syrup producers we are aware that anything which negatively effects maple tree roots is a concern because the roots are the origin for sap movement in the spring.
Over the past five years we have examined several different approaches to reducing the restriction in sap flow from shallow tree rings in an attempt to increase sap yield and sugar content of collected sap. After exploratory research in 2018 and 2019, we settled upon a basic design starting in 2020 that in continued testing has proved successful. The two main features of this new spout include a shorter barrel and barbs.
In 2020, the New York State Maple Producers’ Association, in cooperation with the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, applied for and was awarded a USDA Acer Access and Development Program grant to conduct market research on the US consumer maple target audience. The project was designed to expand research, education, and extension efforts involving market sizing, audience research, and message testing, development, and planning to: 1) identify market opportunities, 2) optimize messaging, and 3) develop a market promotion and evaluation plan. The purpose of this work is to develop marketing tools and methods to increase the awareness of, and a rationale for, choosing pure maple syrup among audiences representing the greatest market opportunity. The program will achieve this goal through the development of research-driven messaging, market promotion strategies, and communications planning.
Invasive pests have been identified as one of the major threats to biodiversity worldwide. Many bodies, including the United Nations, recognize invasive species for the long-term detrimental impacts that they could have on our ecosystems. The most cost- and effort-saving way of dealing with invasive species is to prevent their initial spread into an area. This guide provides a brief summary of invasive insect pests threatening maple-producing regions of eastern Canada and the United States.
This research is focused on a first of its kind survey of professional foresters with the goal of not only understanding the technical approaches foresters use when working in sugarbushes, but also how the surveyed foresters view sugarbush management compared to managing stands for other forest products.