By Brent Addleman | The Center Square
Granting more resources to the maple syrup industry in New England is the focus of new legislation in the nation’s capitol.
Vermont Democratic Sen. Peter Welch, joined by other New England senators, on Monday introduced the Market Access, Promotion, and Landowner Education Support for Your Regionally Underserved Producers aimed at the maple syrup industry.
In making the announcement, Welch was joined by senators Chris Murphy, D-CT, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH.
“Vermont produces more maple syrup than any other state, and it’s at the heart of our state’s culture, history, and economy,” Welch said in a statement.
The legislation, if enacted, would extend and expand the Acer Access and Development Program for maple syrup producers across the country.
For 2023, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s maple syrup production report, Vermont led all New England states by producing 2.045 million gallons. Maine produced 470,000 gallons, while New Hampshire produced 139,000 gallons.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its Maple Syrup Report on June 9 for New England. The United States produced 4.179 million gallons of maple syrup from 13,440 taps.
According to the report, Vermont led all New England states in maple syrup production, with 2.045 million gallons culled from 6,350 taps. In 2022, the state produced 2.554 million gallons from 6,650 taps. In 2021, the state had 6,500 taps that made 1.75 million gallons.
Maine, in 2023, produced 470,000 gallons of maple syrup from 1,880 taps, down from 634,000 gallons from 1,860 taps in 2022. In 2021, Maine had 514,000 gallons of maple syrup from 1,960 taps.
In New Hampshire, the Granite State produced 139,000 gallons of maple syrup from 460 taps in 2023. In 2022, the state had 154,000 gallons of syrup from 500 taps. In 2021, the state produced 127,000 gallons from 530 taps.
According to a release, the bill is co-sponsored by senators Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, Angus King, I-ME, and Bernie Sanders, I-VT. If enacted, the legislation would rename the Acer Program to the Maple Research and Market Promotion Program.
“There’s nothing better than real New England maple syrup,” Murphy said in a statement. “For years, I’ve fought to support Connecticut’s small maple syrup producers, and the Maple program is key to helping grow their businesses. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure this legislation is included in the upcoming Farm Bill.”
The legislation, according to a release, would work to widen and increase authorized funding earmarked for the Maple Research and Market Promotion program to $30 million. The added funding would improve support for producers through research and education on sustaining natural resources and marketing products to consumers.
Shaheen said New Hampshire’s maple syrup is critical to the state’s economy and identity.
“Investing in our maple industry is critical to its longevity, as well as the success of Granite State agriculture,” Shaheen said in a statement. “I’ll work to include this legislation in the upcoming Farm Bill to ensure our maple producers in New Hampshire and throughout New England have the environmental and economic resources they need for their businesses to thrive.”