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Thread: Ballpark cost, 15,000 taps

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Stanbridge Station, QC
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    Default Ballpark cost, 15,000 taps

    Hello,

    Might have found a great piece of land in northern VT. I need to start on a business plan. The woods are fully stocked at around 80-100 taps/acre. All sap would flow down to the potential sugarhouse site. I can easily cost pumps, tanks, releasers. As for tubing and installation, not so easy.

    Would anyone have an idea of the cost of materials and labor for having all the tubing installed by a reputable installer?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Chatham NH
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    I got a quote recently for A High Vac Wet Dry system Tubing part of the system only, no tanks releaser Vacuum pump or anything like that was 15 Dollars a Tap. This was a 3-4 taps per lateral system.

    That was for 1000 taps, you might do better at 15,000.... one thing to consider when doing your tubing setup that you want it to be easy to isolate leaks. Some guys out there will throw up systems in a hurry that will put out sap but might be hard to find leaks. You want a system with easy leak detection.
    Last edited by n8hutch; 10-11-2019 at 08:29 PM.
    Nate Hutchins
    Nate & Kate's Maple
    2018 1000 taps?
    20x36 sugarhouse
    CDL 600gph RO
    Franken evaporator, lapierre arch, smokylake pans and a leader hood with pre-heater.
    A wife and 2 kids.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
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    Garrettsville,Ohio
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    100% done, turn key should be 25-28 per tap including tanks,pumps ect. $405,000
    Fred Ahrens
    330-206-1606
    Richards Maple Products
    Ohio CDL sales rep
    1500 taps

    dont take life too serious, nobody gets out alive anyways

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    $15-20/tap for the wet/dry tubing system itself depending upon installer, terrain, accessibility, # taps per lateral, etc. Pumps, releaser, burying line, etc. not included.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  5. #5
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    Stanbridge Station, QC
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    Thanks for your input everyone.

    With today's bulk prices, it seems there's more money to be made installing tubing than pulling sap out of it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanbridge View Post
    With today's bulk prices, it seems there's more money to be made installing tubing than pulling sap out of it.
    A good high vacuum tubing system at $25/tap (including pump, releaser). Should be able to generate close to (or better) than 0.5 gal/tap. Assuming the site has a reasonable density of appropriately sized trees, a reasonable profit is achievable.

    0.5 gal/tap x 11 lbs x $2.30/lb (bulk organic) = $12.65/tap gross. Pays for itself in two years not counting any other expenses. If you're selling any wholesale/retail/value-added, the payoff timeline shortens considerably.

    Of course if it's a start-up, you'll have all the building (sugarhouse) and processing expenses (RO, tanks, evaporator, barrels). If you add land costs (acquisition, taxes, management) on top of that...you're looking at a fairly long-term investment and shouldn't really be figuring it over just a few years.

    Even if you figure the other costs to run the sap collection side (labor, repairs, electricity) to be half, the tubing system pays for itself in 4 yrs, but you've got at least another 10-15 yrs of lifetime remaining. The profit margins aren't super high, but it can work out. Key thing is that the season is short, so DON'T MAKE MISTAKES that will impact your production. Easier said than done.

    A good system isn't cheap...but conversely, a cheap system isn't necessarily good (at least in terms of yield and net profit).
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 10-18-2019 at 08:19 AM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lake County Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    A good system isn't cheap...but conversely, a cheap system isn't necessarily good (at least in terms of yield and net profit).
    To that I'd add that cheap isn't necessarily cheap...in the long run!
    John Allin

    14x18 Hemlock Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
    Leader 2x6 w/Patriot Raised Flue Pan 2009
    Leader Steam Hood 2014 - Clear Filter Press 2015
    Leader Revolution Pan and SS Pre-Heater 2016
    H20 Innovations Air Injection 2019
    CDL AirTech Pump Hi Vacuum 2019
    06' Gator HPX to collect wood & sap
    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
    Great Family 3 grown kids+spouses and 7 grand kids who like the woods
    7th Gen Canadian - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World...

  8. #8
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    Oct 2006
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    Garrettsville,Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanbridge View Post

    With today's bulk prices, it seems there's more money to be made installing tubing than pulling sap out of it.
    I do a fair amount of installs. i dont make a living doing it. its expensive to install and pretty hard work(and i grew up as a farmer and milking cows). my money is made selling syrup/syrup products.
    Fred Ahrens
    330-206-1606
    Richards Maple Products
    Ohio CDL sales rep
    1500 taps

    dont take life too serious, nobody gets out alive anyways

  9. #9
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    Jul 2016
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    Stanbridge Station, QC
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    Tubing and equipment loans are 7 to 10-year terms, so that's how fast it has to pay itself. Not an easy prospect for a startup starting from bare land. Land and sugarhouse loans can be up to 25-years.

    With the ever-increasing price of equipment and tubing, and the low bulk prices, your only hope for a return on investment is in the form of the land and equipment paying for itself (unless you invest yourself heavily in retail or value-added products, which is another job in itself). However, land prices are down, so one can speculate and buy now with the assumption that bulk prices will improve.

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