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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.

Impact Of The 1998 Ice Storm On The Eastern Ontario Maple Syrup Industry: A Case Study Of Natural Disaster Policy In Canada

Under Canada’s Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA), the federal government can provide provinces with funds for emergency response and recovery in the event of a natural disaster. This assistance has historically been provided on an ad hoc basis. In recent years, the amount of DFAA assistance has significantly increased without any auditing to determine how effective and efficient these expenditures are in offsetting economic losses due to natural disasters. The goal of this paper is to examine the implications of natural disaster compensation and assistance programs for economic efficiency. A framework is developed to determine if government assistance expenditures have offset economic losses to a specific industry using a case study of the 1998 ice storm and the eastern Ontario maple syrup industry. Projections of damage recovery are used to measure the economic impact of the storm, and a comparison is then drawn between the change in producers’ welfare and government assistance. The implications of the findings for the case study and for future natural disaster assistance programs in Canada are discussed.

Update on the Maple Tubing Sanitation Research in Ontario

In the spring of 1998, a research project was initiated to develop alternative methods for maple produces using plastic tubing systems. Although the results are only preliminary, the development of alternative sanitation methods that may reduce reliance on chlorine is looking very promising.