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Understanding how to properly value a property for sap production.
The University of Vermont Maple Benchmark project is advancing the study of maple economics and supporting management decision making at the individual business level. The following article summarizes the cost of production findings from 2014 and synthesizes key trends in business management.
Calculates projected sap yield and net profits based upon known relationships between tubing aging and various management strategies under vacuum conditions.
For Illinois farmers, the maple resource is poised to be tapped given that 1.8 of the total 4.3 million acres of Illinois woodlands exists on farms. Industry standards suggest that a properly managed maple tree resource producing an average sap sugar concentration of 2 percent and an average volume per tap per season of 10 gallons of sap is necessary for a commercial maple syrup venture to succeed.
Our objectives were to develop time series of maple production costs and to observe the effects of changing technology, fuel price, interest rate, and sap sugar content on production cost. In addition, the relationships between major production cost items were examined.
A cost analysis of processing maple sap to syrup for three fuel types, oil-, wood-, and LP gas-fired evaporators, indicates that: (1) fuel, capital, and labor are the major cost components of processing sap to syrup; (2) woodfired evaporators show a slight cost advantage over oil- and LP gas-fired evaporators; however, as the cost of wood approaches $50 per cord, wood as a fuel would no longer have this cost advantage; (3) economies of scale exist in processing maple sap to syrup; (4) in 1977 the total cost of production, including both sap production costs and processing costs, for a medium-size (750) gallons of syrup) operation was $8.36 per gallon of syrup for oil-fired evaporators, $7.97 per gallon of syrup for wood-fired evaporators, and $8.37 per gallon for LP gas-fired evaporators.