Another record year for New York State maple syrup production

mountain winds maple syrup amber

Sweet.

New York State set a new modern record for maple syrup production this year, the Cuomo admin announced Friday. The Empire State produced 707,000 gallons of syrup, according to numbers from the from the US Department of Agriculture.

That's up from 601,000 gallons last year. And it keeps New York at the #2 spot nationally, holding off a surging Maine with 675,000. Better luck next time, Pine (Not Maple) Tree State.

New York's increased production this year was in part a result of a longer season -- 36 days on average this year, compared to 26 last year. But the state continues to add taps, too. Its tap count was above 2,500 this year -- the Cuomo admin says that's the highest number since 1946 -- and the count has been rising by a couple of hundred each year for the past few years. (The state's yield per tap has also been rising.)

Of course, Vermont continues to dominate the field, where they're just playing a different game.

national maple production by state share 2016
This is a (maple) "tree map" -- it's kind of like a square pie chart -- that shows what share of the nation's production of maple syrup each state was responsible for in 2016.

The Green Mountain state posted a total production this year of 1.99 million gallons of syrup -- that's more than three gallons of maple syrup for every person in the state. And Vermont's yield per tap was .410 gallons, way ahead of the rest of the field. (For comparison, #2 in yield per tap was Maine at .363 and New York's was "just" .281.)

new york vs vermont maple syrup production up to 2016

As we mentioned last year, Vermont's production has been a huge upswing over the last two decades. (Vermont and New York were at one point relatively close in production.) So much so that it's been making officials in Quebec -- the Saudi Arabia of maple syrup -- a bit, let's say, curious.

Zooming out a bit: One of the notable things about New York's growing maple syrup industry is that it's another example of how Upstate can build on high-quality agriculture. This is already one of the world's premiere places for growing apples, and it's turning out to be quite a spot for maple syrup, too. And just as the production of apples is leading to other value-added products like hard cider, is there way for the state's maple industry to start spinning out other sorts of products -- both to soak up the increased production, and help farms generate more revenue from it.

(Is it possible to make maple syrup into booze? New York State seems to be getting good at that sort of thing in recent years.)

Earlier on AOA:
+ The art and science of maple sugaring
+ A tour of a maple syrup operation

Comments

Missing a number in this phrase:

"...-- that's more than gallons of maple syrup for every person in the state."

Editors: Erf. Fixed. Thank you.

Yes, it's absolutely possible to make maple syrup into booze - it's actually sweeter by volume than refined white sugar, and ferments out at a very high efficiency, like honey.

Unfortunately, in my experiments, it really needs to be blended with something else in primary/secondary fermentation, or you get a strong, thin brew. Making a maple/honey mead works well though!

Hopefully, with the surge in craft brewing (and a pretty healthy rise in beer consumption globally), NY can restore its place at the table in terms of growing hops. Given the pressures on this commodity, both from a surge in use and a drop in production (issues with varieties in Europe), this is another high-quality agricultural market to tap.

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