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Survey: Growth for state’s maple syrup industry to continue


The Register-Herald

CHARLESTON — Although the state experienced a short maple season this year, West Virginia’s maple syrup industry is experiencing continued growth.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics recently released the results of its National Maple Survey.

This year, 9,000 gallons of maple syrup were tapped from West Virginia trees, making a 33 percent increase from last year, a news release from the state Department of Agriculture said.

This is the second year West Virginia participated in the USDA’s Maple Survey. Last year, the average price for a gallon of maple syrup was $4.840 — 48 percent of that was sold retail, 6 percent wholesale and 46 percent bulk, totaling $290,000, the release said.

“This is tremendous news for West Virginia,” Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt said in the news release. “While our state economy remains stagnant, we are seeing growth in our maple industry. The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has been working closely with the West Virginia Maple Syrup Producers Association and its members over the past year to promote the industry and help new producers develop their business plans. With more maple syrup on the market this year, we’ll continue to spread the word about our superior product.”

The state’s maple season opened Feb. 3, 2017 and wrapped up March 7, 2017. Although it was a short season because of warmer than normal winter, 61,000 taps yielded an average of 0.148 gallons of syrup.

“It was a challenging year for some of our producers, but it’s also exciting to see our industry continue to grow,” West Virginia Maple Syrup Producers Association President Rich Flanigan said in the release. “The state has a lot of untapped potential providing us the opportunity to become one of the top producers of maple syrup in the United States.”
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