More maple syrup flowed in 2004

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WASHINGTON – U.S. maple syrup production jumped this spring, up 20 percent from 2003.

Vermont the leader. Nationally, maple syrup production in 2004 totaled 1.51 million gallons. Vermont led the way with production of 500,000 gallons.

Rounding out the top five syrup-producing states are: Maine, ranked second; New York, third; Wisconsin, fourth; and New Hampshire, fifth.

Ohio and Pennsylvania are ranked seventh and eighth, respectively, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Valuable commodity. The value of Vermont’s syrup production totaled $11.7 million.

Ohio’s production, estimated at 78,000 gallons, totaled $1.8 million; and Pennsylvania’s production, at 60,000 gallons, $1.4 million.

The number of taps in Pennsylvania totaled 404,000 during 2004 compared with 383,000 taps the year before. Ohio producers tapped 405,000 trees, compared to 387,000 in 2003.

The 2004 season lasted an average of 55 days. This compares to 50 days in 2003 and 52 days in 2002. Sugar content of the sap for 2004 was lower than last year.

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