September 21, 2009
Contact: Michael Farrell, NNY Maple Specialist, 518-523-9337

“Get Involved with Maple” Workshops Set for NNY Landowners

A series of October workshops in Lake Placid, Chazy, Westport, Watertown, Lowville, Malone and Canton will invite NNY landowners to learn about the options of becoming a new maple producer making syrup and-or value-added maple products, leasing trees to an existing maple producer, or tapping trees and selling sap.

“New York’s six northernmost counties have enough maple trees to grow the region’s maple syrup production into a $10 million industry annually, and it’s up to landowners to make this happen,” says Northern New York Maple Specialist and Cornell Uihlein Forest Director Michael Farrell.

The workshops, co-sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Cornell University Maple Program, New York State Maple Producers Association, and New York Forest Owners Association are part of a research and extension project funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program.

The workshops will help landowners identify whether or not their property is presently suited to maple production or leasing with the costs and benefits of various options for utilizing their maples for sugaring. Previous research has revealed that most landowners are primarily interested in how getting involved with the maple industry might reduce their property taxes. By leasing forestland to a qualifying maple producer, a landowner may be able to qualify for an ag assessment.

The workshops will discuss the details of ag assessment and provide landowners with a list of maple producers interested in buying sap or leasing trees.

“There are many ways landowners can utilize their forestland and it is not always easy to decide the best fit for their property,” Farrell says. “We are offering these workshops to discuss the costs and benefits of various options. There is a vast resource of untapped maple trees and growing markets for maple syrup, so getting involved with maple production might be a good option at this time.”

Additional resources provided at the workshops will include a sample landowner-producer lease agreement and information on how landowners can qualify for an agricultural assessment tax benefit.

The 7pm to 8:30 pm “Get Involved with Maple” workshops schedule includes:
• October 7 Uihlein Forest, 157 Bear Cub Lane, Lake Placid
Contact: Michael Farrell, mlf36@cornell.edu, 518-523-9337
• October 8 Miner Institute, 1034 Miner Farm Road, Chazy
Contact: Laura Nicholson, lan25@cornell.edu, 518-561-7450
• October 13 Cornell Cooperative Extension, 3 Sisco St, Westport
Contact: Emily Selleck, els52@cornell.edu, 518-962-4810
• October 14 Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County,
203 N. Hamilton Street, Watertown
Contact: Mike Hunter, meh27@cornell.edu, 315-788-8450
• October 15 Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County,
5274 Outer Stowe Street, Lowville
Contact: Michele Ledoux, mel14@cornell.edu, 315-376-5270
• October 19 Franklin County 911 Emergency Response Building,
55 Bare Hill Road, Malone
Contact: Richard Gast, rlg24@cornell.edu, 518-483-7403
• October 20 Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm Classroom,
1894 State Highway 68, Canton
Contact: Anita Morrill, amr28@cornell.edu, 315-379-9192.

For details on Northern NY maple industry research in regional sugarbushes in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office and go online to the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at www.nnyagdev.org. Maple production and research information is on the Cornell Maple Program website at http://maple.dnr.cornell.edu. #

Maple Production and Its Potential in NNY
The 2007 Census of Agriculture lists a total of 347 maple farms in NY’s six northern counties: Clinton: 55, Essex: 22, Franklin: 36, Jefferson: 26, Lewis: 112, St. Lawrence: 96.

Northern New York Maple Specialist Michael Farrell’s research shows Clinton (1.78%) and Lewis (1.53%) counties with the highest maple tree utilization rates, followed by St. Lawrence 0.46%, Jefferson 0.32%, Essex 0.20%, and Franklin 0.17%. (Vermont has a 2% statewide utilization rate.)

Annual maple industry revenue for NY’s six northern counties is $3,251,310, based on an average bulk price of $3/lb. Farrell estimates the region’s earning potential at nearly $10 million, if the same percentage of trees is tapped as in Vermont.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Contacts for Northern NY:
• Clinton County: Amy Ivy, 518-561-7450
• Essex County: Anita Deming, Emily Selleck, 518-962-4810
• Franklin County: Carl Tillinghast, Richard Gast, 518-483-7403
• Jefferson County: Mike Hunter, 315-788-8450
• Lewis County: Michele Ledoux, 315-376-5270
• St. Lawrence County: Steve VanderMark, 315-379-9192