March 23, 2010
Contact: Michael Farrell, NNY Maple Specialist, 518-523-9337
NNY Maple Producers Searching for Trees, Collaborating with
Landowners; New Online Evaluation Tool Helps Maple Tree Owners Evaluate
Lake Placid, NY -- Northern NY Maple Specialist Mike Farrell says his
goal with the “Get Involved with Maple” campaign is to enhance the
maple-producing capacity of New York’s six northernmost counties to
achieve the full, environmentally-friendly economic potential of the
region as a syrup maker. That potential, in time, could be more than $9
million per year.
Farrell, who is director of the Cornell University Uihlein Maple Forest
& Extension Center at Lake Placid, has co-written “Increasing NNY Maple
Production through Effective Producer/Landowner Collaborations” with
Cornell Professor Brian F. Chabot.
The report was made possible by funding from the Northern New York
Agricultural Development Program that has also supported research and
demonstration projects to help Northern New York’s maple producers
improve the quality and productivity of their sugar maple forests.
“Maple producers are interested to expand their production in order to
fill the growing markets and there is a vast untapped resource of
untapped trees in Northern New York. Most producers have tapped all of
the trees they own,” Farrell says.
Farrell surveyed Northern New York landowners to identify opportunities
for producers to lease trees, to buy sap from landowners who tap their
own trees and for landowners to sell sap or process the sap from their
trees into syrup. That syrup could be sold bulk to bottlers or
processors or the landowners could make value-added products themselves.
“Leasing and cooperative business arrangements are often the most
practical and economical solution. Existing maple producers already have
made the capital investment in facilities and equipment needed to
produce high-quality syrup in a cost-effective manner,” Farrell says.
“An advantage for landowners is the opportunity to receive agricultural
land value assessment and the related tax break.”
Landowners Large & Small Collaborating with Regional Maple
Farrell reports that Rayonier, a Jacksonville, FL, company that
sustainably manages timber and produces specialty cellulose fibers, is
exploring partnerships to lease some of its land in New York’s
Adirondacks region to regional maple producers.
Jon Spink, Rayonier’s northeast resource unit leader, says, “We see
promising opportunities to work with regional producers to make good use
of the maple trees on Rayonier land in Northern New York. To that end,
we are opening discussions with potential maple production partners.”
Farrell says a number of smaller landowners and maple producers
elsewhere in the region have reached partnership agreements.
New Online Evaluation Tool Helps Maple Tree Owners Evaluate Best
Farrell is continuing his “Get Involved with Maple” campaign in NNY and,
with funding from the New York Farm Viability Institute, is expanding
the effort statewide. He has also developed a Net Present Value
calculator tool that allows landowners to evaluate the option to lease
trees for syrup production vs. managing their trees for sawtimber
production. This tool is found online at
The results of Farrell’s survey of maple producers and landowners about
their interest in getting involved with maple production is online in
the Maple section of the Northern New York Agricultural Development
Program website at http://www.nnyagdev.org/_maple.htm, see Research
Reports: Increasing NNY Maple Production through Effective
Producer-Landowner Collaboration (2008-2009).
The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program
receives funding from the New York State Legislature through the
leadership of Senate and Assembly Agriculture Committee Chairs Darrel J.
Aubertine and William Magee respectively and with the long-term support
of Senator Elizabeth “Betty” Little.
Maple Weekend: March 27-28
The public can visit sugarhouses throughout the Northern NY region this
weekend: March 27-28 as part of the statewide Maple Weekend Open House.
For a listing of participating producers, visit