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Officials say Farm Bill could give maple production in NY a boost

A small part of the Federal Farm Bill could have a big impact on New York farmers.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – A small part of the Federal Farm Bill could have a big impact on New York farmers.

The bill aims to make New York State more competitive in the maple syrup industry.

Farmers – such as Karl Wiles of Cedarvale Maple Syrup Co. – are hoping to tap into the Federal money to grow their business.

Wiles – who will tap 2,700 maple trees this year – says New York's climate makes it ideal for maple syrup.

New York is the second largest maple syrup producer in the US, but way behind Canada. America’s northern neighbor produces 85 percent of the world’s maple syrup.

Nevertheless, experts say New York can produce more.

They say that only 1 percent of the trees in New York are tapped.

Senator Chuck Schumer says the Farm Bill will help the state's maple producers step up to meet demand.

“I think overall it’s probably a good thing, it will provide some research money - and that's good and it's got money for promotions, and that's good and we always need more promotion,” he said.

The bill would provide up to $20 million per year to states to create programs to encourage private landowners to open up their trees to maple tapping.

Wiles is waiting for the warmer weather to see the saps start flowing. He’s also waiting on details on how to become eligible for Federal funding.

The Farm Bill passed the house last week and will now be taken up for a vote in the Senate.

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