Connecticut maple syrup a rare treat

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Connecticut has more than 160 farms producing between 10,000 and 20,000 gallons of maple syrup per year, but that’s just a sweet drop in the bucket compared with other Northeastern states.

Connecticut is on a relatively short list of states that generate a significant amount of maple syrup, according to the USDA Census of Agriculture.

No other state comes close to Vermont’s nearly 1 million gallons of the amber gold produced in 2012 – the most recent year for which the agriculture census data is available. But Vermont is not the only large producer of maple syrup. Maine and New York produced 443,000 and 359,000 gallons in 2012 respectively.

Overall, U.S. production of maple syrup grew 714,000 gallons from 1.6 million in 2007 to 2.3 million in 2012, with 674,000 of that increase coming from Vermont, Maine and New York.

Ups and downs

In Connecticut, production declined over that 2007 to 2012 period, from 11,732 gallons in 2007 to 10,495, and the number of farms producing maple syrup dropped from 173 to 166.

A report that is more recent than the 2012 agriculture census but covers only Northeastern state’s production shows Connecticut and nationwide production jumped quite a bit. Connecticut production rose to 20,000 gallons in 2013, then to 16,000 in 2014 and 19,000 in the syrup season ending in April 2015.

The price of Connecticut’s relatively rare maple syrup, at around $71 per gallon in 2013 and 2014, is much higher than syrup from top-producing states. Vermont maple syrup was around $33 per gallon the same years.

The USDA reported in 2012 that climate change could affect the climate-sensitive maple syrup production over the century, potentially extending the sap flow period in northern regions of the maple tree’s range and reducing it in the south.

What do you think?