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June 20, 2013

N.H. maple syrup production spikes

Maple syrup production takes a big jump

(Continued)

The USDA tracks syrup production and prices in the top 10 producing states. On that list, New Hampshire has recently ranked eighth, Massachusetts ninth. The industry is much more significant to the top three states — Vermont, New York and Maine.

Vermont produces 40 percent of the country’s maple syrup. New York is a distant second, making 18 percent. New Hampshire trails at 4 percent and Massachusetts is responsible for just 2 percent.

New Hampshire will never be number one, Pearl said, because there simply aren’t enough maple trees or taps.

“I was a little surprised by the (eighth-place) ranking,” she said. “In the past, we’ve ranked higher. We were fourth at one time.”

Fourth is about as high as the Granite State can hope to climb, she said. The top states have more trees, more taps, more producers.

Brian Folsom of Folsom’s Sugar House in Chester was satisfied with this year’s production, but he’s seen better seasons.

“It was a little better than average,” Folsom said. “We had good crowds as far as visitation to the sugarhouse. Last year on Maple Weekend, it was so warm we joked people would probably go to the beach. It was more typical this year.”

Folsom, who’s been sugaring since 1990, has about 500 taps and only uses buckets. It’s less that he’s a traditionalist and more a function of tapping in about 20 different spots, which doesn’t lend itself to using tubing.

He, too, said production is all about the weather.

“It’s always the case,” he said. “It’s a short season. It really comes down to the weather.”

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