Maple syrup farmers look to tap into state's potential growth
Wed, 01 Jan 2014 21:42:43 GMT —
group of local farmers are asking the state for support to help make
Michigan a global force in the maple syrup industry.
ichigan has more than 275 million sugar maple trees ready to be tapped
, but less than 1% are being used each year for syrup production.
Waldron is the largest maple syrup producer in the state. His farm, Far Hills Maple Syrup, in Alanson has more than 28 thousand maple tree taps.
Michigan has more maple trees than all of Quebec does just by itself and
Quebec makes 85-88% of syrup in the world," Waldron said.
says he is tired of watching
Canada dominate the industry, when there is plenty of untapped potential right here in the state.
tap less than two tenths of 1% of the available maple trees that the state has," Waldron said.
n chairs the
Commercial Maple Syrup Producers of Michigan organization, which recently received a $10,000 grant from the state to pursue a study about the possible growth of the industry.
If Michigan was even to go to the level of utilization of Vermont does it would grow Michigan
s industry by millions and millions and millions of dollars
," Waldron said.
tudies show that if
Michigan farmers just tapped 3% of the state's trees, they would make nearly $80 million a year. Which would dwarf Vermont, that at the same rate makes $30 million annually.
Vermont has just done a lot better job as a state of promoting the industry and that's one of the things we hope to change
," Waldron said.
grant is part of a
$2.5 million program set up to expand Michigan's agriculture industry.