W. Va. receives grant to boost maple industry

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Maple sap collection
Farm and Dairy file photo

CHAERLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Agriculture recently received a $203,716 ACER Access and Development Program grant, one of only three handed out this year, to build its maple industry.

That money will be used to continue educational and research efforts to accelerate the growth of the maple industry in West Virginia and the central Appalachian region.

West Virginia maple producers tapped 9,000 gallons of syrup during the 2017 season which ran from early-February through mid-March. That was a 33 percent increase from 2016.

As part of the grant, the WVDA will partner with the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, West Virginia Maple Syrup Producers Association, Laurel Fork Sap Suckers and Virginia Tech to hold a Southern Syrup Research Institute at WVU.

The event will focus on maple production issues specific to the Mid-Atlantic region.

This is the first year ACER grants have been awarded. Iowa and Vermont were the other 2017 ACER recipients.

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