Bill in Congress would boost maple syrup research, marketing

by Brent Addleman, Center Square

(The Center Square) – Granting more resources to the maple syrup industry in New England is the focus of new legislation in the nation’s capitol.

Vermont Democratic Sen. Peter Welch, joined by other New England senators, on Monday introduced the Market Access, Promotion, and Landowner Education Support for Your Regionally Underserved Producers aimed at the maple syrup industry.

In making the announcement, Welch was joined by senators Chris Murphy, D-CT, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH.

“Vermont produces more maple syrup than any other state, and it’s at the heart of our state’s culture, history, and economy,” Welch said in a statement.

The legislation, if enacted, would extend and expand the Acer Access and Development Program for maple syrup producers across the country.

For 2023, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s maple syrup production report, Vermont led all New England states by producing 2.045 million gallons. Maine produced 470,000 gallons, while New Hampshire produced 139,000 gallons.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its Maple Syrup Report on June 9 for New England. The United States produced 4.179 million gallons of maple syrup from 13,440 taps.

According to the report, Vermont led all New England states in maple syrup production, with 2.045 million gallons culled from 6,350 taps. In 2022, the state produced 2.554 million gallons from 6,650 taps. In 2021, the state had 6,500 taps that made 1.75 million gallons.

Maine, in 2023, produced 470,000 gallons of maple syrup from 1,880 taps, down from 634,000 gallons from 1,860 taps in 2022. In 2021, Maine had 514,000 gallons of maple syrup from 1,960 taps.

In New Hampshire, the Granite State produced 139,000 gallons of maple syrup from 460 taps in 2023. In 2022, the state had 154,000 gallons of syrup from 500 taps. In 2021, the state produced 127,000 gallons from 530 taps.

According to a release, the bill is co-sponsored by senators Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, Angus King, I-ME, and Bernie Sanders, I-VT. If enacted, the legislation would rename the Acer Program to the Maple Research and Market Promotion Program.

“There’s nothing better than real New England maple syrup,” Murphy said in a statement. “For years, I’ve fought to support Connecticut’s small maple syrup producers, and the Maple program is key to helping grow their businesses. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure this legislation is included in the upcoming Farm Bill.”

The legislation, according to a release, would work to widen and increase authorized funding earmarked for the Maple Research and Market Promotion program to $30 million. The added funding would improve support for producers through research and education on sustaining natural resources and marketing products to consumers.

Shaheen said New Hampshire’s maple syrup is critical to the state’s economy and identity.

“Investing in our maple industry is critical to its longevity, as well as the success of Granite State agriculture,” Shaheen said in a statement. “I’ll work to include this legislation in the upcoming Farm Bill to ensure our maple producers in New Hampshire and throughout New England have the environmental and economic resources they need for their businesses to thrive.”

Categories: Agriculture

10 replies »

  1. Ah yes, Saint Peter the Welcher – as with so much else – now spews money and back rubs to the maple crowd.

    Everyone, the time is past due to stop gushing about maple this n that, and to burst the overblown maple bubble. Maple people – I call them Maple Barons – have become experts at exploiting people, land and nature. Looking around my neighborhood, our woods and hills through the past fifteen years or so, have exploded with hundreds of miles of plastic tubes and gizmos criss-crossing and cluttering. The Barons have also become very good at burning lots of fossil fuel in expensive (exorbitant) high tech machinery and boilers, and tapping our rural underemployed underclass youth for their sweat labor at low wages.

    Take a close look at a few of the Barons – many are very wealthy, fat and happy. In particular, check out your largest Vermont producers – you’ll find a few international private equity funds and corporate behemoths hiding in amongst the fat and happy Ma and Pa etc. Barons, all of them festooned in the maple hoop de la and marketing.

    Our Maple Barons by no means merit $30 M of federal Welchified largesse to support marketing , promotion, research and other assorted hoo-haa to make sure their “product” is sold. And if they insist that help is needed, LET THEM PAY FOR IT.

  2. I’m just shocked that the history of maple syrup production in Vermont hasn’t yet been deemed “racist” or that it isn’t on the brink of being banned as it somehow, someway contributes to climate change. And Ringo Starr was always my favorite Beatle. Now I know why.

  3. Fix the number of taps cited throughout the article. It’s off by at least three or four decimal points. There are more than 13.4K taps within a three mile circle of our home here in Franklin county. And 500 taps in all of Maine ? Cmon…as sweet as it is, this is nothing more than pork from DC. We don’t have a tax problem. We have a spending problem. But hey, snuffle up to the trough. Get yours before the music stops. Our tiny slice of the real existential threat we face… crushing debt. And the band plays on…

  4. The latest data show the increasing dependence of growers on government assistance after three years of trade and Covid‐​19 aid on top of traditional subsidies.

    Direct government aid, accounting for 39% of net farm income, rose to a record $46.5 billion from $22.4 billion last year.

    Yes, you read that right. This year, farmers (on net) will derive almost 40 percent of their income directly from the U.S. government. Forty percent.

    End the farm subsidies.

  5. Somebody has to tell me why we maple syrup production needs to have a government supplement. AND, we have to wonder why there is a budget issue.

    I am not judging the noble farming of maple products.

    The market should decide if the price charged is justified by their cost of production. Not by an artificial stimulus. If the owners want to invest fine. If they have an innovation which helps create a market advantage great. This market is quaint and not of strategic importance to the nation. Not trying to single out maple syrup here . We could list hundreds of other similar pork legislations which only add to our national burden

    • Diversified farmer here, including maple. I agree with you 100%.
      Get government out of agriculture (and energy and healthcare and education, etc., etc.) entirely.

      • It should not be any secret that big business has gone into buying sap and using big boilers to produce syrup and lowering the price accordingly. Big business draws politicians like flies. Enter Peter Welch, all of a sudden the champion of the maple industry. Surprize!!!

  6. Oy vey.
    Its all about the weather.
    Control that and you control the outcome of maple syrup.


    • and a p.s. — watch this turn into turning maple sugaring over to AI… watch…fruit growers are next… watch, just watch…

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