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Thread: $1.70 lbs profitability?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Oneida NY
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    I also paid cash for everything, (actually I put much of it on a card, but paid the card off when the bill came) but I figure that my time would not be worth it if I sold bulk at $2.00/#. My prices have remained unchanged for almost 10 years and I'll stay there. $12/Qt doesn't interest me either.
    I sell everything at retail and it takes all year, so I count it as year round. Yes it is front heavy on the work, but then it slows down. Except for when I need to pack more from SS barrels into retail I spend less than 30 minutes a day after the season clean-up has finished. That gives me lots of time to work my blueberries and my sawmill along with honey-do projects. My website at the bottom of my signature has my prices.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    NW Wisconsin
    Posts
    738

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    Another thing to think about is buying sap. Even if people do tap trees to sell you sap because they 'just love it' contributes to the 'race to the bottom'. I used to buy all the sap I could get when bulk was over 2.40 or so. 3 seasons ago I decided it wasn't worth the sleepless nights. Now there are just a couple of guys I do syrup for sap with. Then its my labor, not a check, to settle up with them. If price does indeed go below 2.00, I don't think I will even do that. Maybe they will end up buying syrup from me.

    I would not want to have borrowed $$ to buy new equipment. I'm starting to really like my old evaporator!
    Jeff Emerson
    www.emersonsmaplehill.com
    3x12 Leader with over air, custom piggyback, 600gph CDL RO
    2500 on 25" vacuum, +900 buckets (buying sap)
    350 big bear and 1950's Ford 600 wood hauler, Husqvarna! (261, 372xpBigBore, 562xp, rebuilding a 2100cd)

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chatham NH
    Posts
    1,228

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    I believe that there is a big difference between Profitability and worth . Sure one man can run 10k taps and at 2.00lb he would gross 110k if he has good trees and he is a very good sugar maker and makes half a lb per tap. I believe someone told me that a good average for bulk sellers was a 40% profit margin , than you made 44k. That's probably not too bad of money if you do all the work yourself and you spend 1000hrs a year doing it.

    It's all about the economy of Scale. At 1000 taps its probably not worth it to make 4400 to work say 250 hrs making syrup and selling bulk.

    One man averages 44 dollars per hr
    The other 17.50?
    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.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
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    5,639

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    The maple has always been a hobby for me. I paid for everything with syrup sales and never looked at it as a profit making venture. When I added on to my sugar house and repaired and upgraded my RO machine I did put some of that expense on a credit card and quickly paid it off. Other than that if I didn't have the money for something I didn't buy it until I did. Most of my sales are retail so the bulk price doesn't affect me too much. My prices have been the same for about 10 years, maybe more and I have no plans to increase or decrease them.
    Russ

    "Red Roof Maples" Where the term "boiling soda" was first introduced to the maple producing world!

    Algier 2x6 evaporator, W F Mason arch
    Lapierre 250 Turbo RO machine
    SP-22 vacuum pump
    1930 Ford Model AA Doodlebug tractor
    1971 IH 454 52hp diesel tractor
    A couple of Honda 4 wheelers
    About a dozen chainsaws and no chickens

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Potsdam in far northern New York
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    742

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    Since I started 10 years ago, I have sold every drop at full retail price. This year my syrup is going for $55 per gallon and I will sell out by mid-summer and replenish my stocks with purchased bulk syrup. I spent a huge chunk in 2011 to build a proper sugarhouse, so "profit" doesn't exist yet. In two years I will see actual profit. After that...we can have a discussion about the value of my labor.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hopkinton, MA
    Posts
    1,551

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    All good thoughts - especially the economy of scale. There are way too many variables to have a general rule about profitability. For me, almost all goes out the door retail, so that helps a lot with the math. My "problem" is I keep expanding - more trees means more tubing, more pumps, bigger tanks, bigger RO. You all know the drill. I just put in my annual Bascom's order. Yeah, that will humble you quickly. Be careful with your 2-year plan Michael. There are so many ways you can spend your money on this "hobby".

    I haven't let bulk pricing affect my own pricing. I'm not just a producer, I'm a consumer, so I look at it from the other direction, too. When was the last time someone left the grocery store and said, "Boy, the prices sure are dropping these days"? I haven't changed my prices in years, but I did have to steadily increase them to get where I am.
    Woodville Maples
    www.woodvillemaples.com
    www.facebook.com/woodvillemaples
    Something north of 250 taps
    Mix of natural and mechanical vac, S3 Controller from Mountain Maple
    2x6 W.F. Mason with Phaneuf pans
    Deer Run 125 RO
    6 hives of bees
    Keeping the day job until I can start living the dream.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Stafford Springs, CT
    Posts
    836

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    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    That's exactly why I retail all of my syrup and I often buy some bulk, if my supply runs low.
    I do the same thing. I have buyers of bulk syrup and always buy directly from fellow producers at about $2.40/lb. I'm still making a profit and I feel that I'm helping them as well.
    About 300 taps
    2'x6' air tight arch
    Semi complete 12'x24' sugarhouse in Somers, CT
    My Nature Cams YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/naturecamschannel
    My eBook: Making Maple Syrup in your Backyard

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
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    10,437

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    I pay $.20# over what the bulk price is when I buy.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Williamsburg, MA
    Posts
    226

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    We sell most of crop retail. I would feel guilty offering a small producer $2lb. knowing how much work goes into making a gallon of syrup
    Paul & Serena
    Sugaring for over 50 years.
    4000+ taps on vacuum
    4 Airtech Vacuum Pumps
    4 X 12 Force 5 with D&G Pans
    Lapierre 1200 GPH RO

    www.paulssugarhouse.com

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,437

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    I don't mean to say I buy from a small producer. He has about 5000 taps, he sells about half his crop retail, the rest bulk. He is good with what I pay. At current prices Golden and Amber would be $2.40, Dark $2.30, I never bought any very dark.
    Last edited by maple flats; 05-19-2020 at 07:31 PM.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

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