New bill could be the ticket to help boost maple syrup industry
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 18:18:04 GMT —
The maple syrup industry across the state could soon have a smooth path to help deliver maple sap during the short window of opportunity.
House Bill 4418
was introduced Tuesday by state Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering. The bill would add maple sap to the list of agricultural commodities that are currently exempt from seasonal weight restrictions on roads.
Once extracted from the tree, producers have a limited number of hours to transport maple sap to production facilities before it spoils. Additionally, air temperature plays a vital role in maple sap extraction, which generally creates a critical window of opportunity annually for producers to transport sap.
"This legislation is about making it more efficient and less burdensome to produce Michigan-made maple syrup," Rep. Chatfield said. "I believe there is a lot of potential to grow this local industry and strengthen our economy."
Nationally, Michigan ranks sixth in maple syrup production, and is third in the Midwest behind Wisconsin and Ohio.
According to the national Agricultural Statistics Service, it takes 45 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup. Maple syrup is expensive to produce and as a result, the price for maple syrup is higher than most other food products.
Rep. Chatfield said that Michigan is a minor producer of maple syrup although it does have the potential to expand. The state possesses the trees and has the climate and other attributes that makes it well-suited for increased production.
"Maple syrup is another brand of Pure Michigan that has the potential to be sold across the entire country and around the world," Rep. Chatfield said.