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High Pressure Boiler Selection for the Production of Maple Products

Maple producers contemplating the use of high pressure steam should carefully plant their steam system with the assistance of qualified persons. Proper boiler selection to meet the system requirements is an important step in the success of any steam system.

Testing for Invert Sugar in Maple Syrup

Invert sugar content of syrup determines how well the syrup will crystalize when making value-added products. This article explains how to conduct that test.

Maple Candy and Other Confections

Maple syrup can also be processed into a wide variety of confections including granulated or molded maple sugar, molded soft-sugar candy, maple cream, maple fondant, and “Jack Wax” or “Maple on Snow.” These confections are easy to make, delicious to eat, and make excellent gifts.

Equating Syrup Price to Sap Price

In fairness to both sap producers and sap purchasers, the price of maple sap should be directly related to the price of maple syrup. This chart helps calcuate that value.

Cost of Maple Sap Production for Various Size Tubing Operations

Reports sap production costs for small (500 to 1,000 taps), medium (1,000 to 5,000), and large (5,000 to 15,000) maple syrup operations that use plastic tubing with vacuum pumping. The average annual operating cost per tap ranged from $4.64 for a 500-tap sugarbush operation to $1.84 for a sugarbush with 10,000 taps. The weighted average was $2.87 per tap or $11.48 per gallon (assumes four taps required to produce a gallon of syrup). The average annual investment cost for a plastic tubing system ranged from $7.90 for a 500-tap operation to $6.03 for a 10,000-tap system. The average labor time per tap was 4.74 minutes in 1998 compared to 9.60 minutes in 1975. The break-even (zero profit) size for a sugarbush operation was 900, 1,500, and 3,800 taps for a 3.0, 2.5, and 2.0o Brix sap, respectively.

Sugarmaker’s Guide to Pear Thrips Monitoring

Pear thrips surfaced as a new pest of sugar maple, Acer saccharum Marsh., in 1979. Damage from this insect occurs intermittently, and threatens the long-term health of maple trees throughout the northeastern United States and parts of Canada. A method for sampling forest soil to determine pear thrips populations is described that is suitable for sugarmakers. This method requires a minimum of equipment and time, and provides sugarmakers with a reliable estimate of the number of thrips in their sugar_bushes. By sampling and assessing damage annually, sugarmakers will gain an understanding of the relationship between thrips population levels and damage in their stands. Based on this information, potential damage in the spring can be estimated. Sample results are obtained before tapping so sugarmakers can adjust their management practices, such as the number of taps per tree, to minimize stress on trees when damage is likely.