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Thread: Disaster Relief

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Potsdam in far northern New York
    Posts
    769

    Default Disaster Relief

    This year is one for the books...in a negative way. A late start, and some unseasonably warm weather two weeks later made for a season worse than we have ever seen. Most producers in my area are seeing yields of around I pint per tap, and totals for the season at around 1/3rd expected production. Hobbyists can take a get-what-you-get attitude, but bigger producers are often working to pay off substantial credit on tens of thousands of dollars in equipment. Two back-to-back bad seasons threatens to bankrupt some, and the rest are seriously short on this year's income. So my question is...Are there disaster relief funds available anywhere, and if not, who do we write or call to get that ball rolling?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Oakville, ON
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Unfortynately I doubt the government is going to fund bad weather! Perhaps check department of agriculture site? Are there any programs for farmers in drought years?
    2021 - 84 taps, 50L from 2100L
    2020 - 100 taps on buckets, 21L syrup from 2700L so far (FEB 26-Mar 13) and then the pandemic hit! End of our season!
    2019 - 62 taps on buckets, 95L syrop from 3215L sap
    2018 - 62 taps, collecting by hand, 90L syrop from 3200L sap
    2017 - Lapierre Waterloo Small mini pro with 40 taps
    2014 - 2016 40 taps making one or two batches on a 2x6 flat pan over an open arch as it would have been done in 1900

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    DeKalb, NY
    Posts
    1,702

    Default

    I think maple is eligible for crop insurance as a specialty crop but you would have had to be signed up in advance.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bristol, VT
    Posts
    1,951

    Default

    The FSA/USDA may be able to provide some assistance for producers that participate in any of their programs. Time will tell if they will determine if this season's weather will be a factor. When I had an FSA loan I often received notices related to weather events (ice storms, wind events, floods) and associated relief that I could have taken advantage of but never did as it wasn't necessary. I'm not sure they consider bad sugaring weather as an "event" however. And the assistance they offered in these cases was typically loan deferment.

    A good place for producers to start would certainly be the FSA though.
    About 750 taps on High Vac.
    2.5 x 8 Intens-O-Fire
    Airtech 3 hp LR Pump
    Springtech Elite 500 RO
    14 x 24 Timber Frame SugarHouse
    16 x 22 Sap Shed w/ 1500 gal. + 700 gal. tanks
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    River Falls, WI
    Posts
    790

    Default

    I don't remember the specifics, but after the disastrous 2012 season in Wisconsin, there was disaster relief available for syrup producers. Not sure if it was USDA, state, or what.
    Second generation sap rat.

    Started taking over in 2012
    2012-2016: 300 buckets 120 on gravity tubing. Waterloo 2x10 wood fired. Averaged 105 gallons per season.
    2017: hoping for 300 on 3/16 with Shurflo and 50 buckets. New used 4x14 Algier wood fired cooker. 180 gallons of syrup

    2018: 300 on vacuum 2 buckets, finally got a splitter!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Walpole, NH
    Posts
    1,197

    Default

    Most true government Hand Out Relief comes after an area has been declared an official Disaster Area. Which for maple is a hard thing to do because it is a relatively small commodity compared to others and production varies so much from area to area. Most commodity relief tends to be in form of loans. Individual producers who are in over their head with debt and can’t wether a couple bad years probably aren’t making the smartest decisions with their financial situation. Maple, like any other farming, is subject to the weather and you need to anticipate that you can very well have 2-3 years in the row of poor seasons.
    Sugaring for 45+ years
    New Sugarhouse 14'x32'
    New to Me Algier 2'x8' wood fired evaporator
    225 Sugar Maples Currently,(105 on 3/16" and 110 on Shurflo 4008 vacuum, 10 gravity), (16,000 before being disabled)
    1947 Farmall H and Wagon with gathering tank
    2012 Kubota with forks to move wood around

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    411

    Default

    Here's my 2 cents (and I'm not trying to be political):

    As a tax payer, it's hard for me to accept the idea that maple producers should get disaster relief aid in the form of free money. I understand it for farming of essential crops which are essential to our national health, nutrition, and security. That said, I think it is okay for governments to provide loans for businesses of all types that are impacted by disasters.

    Ken
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Salisbury, N.H.
    Posts
    2,064

    Default

    Ohh, I don't know,,there was all kinds of money available for Covid affecting my season last year,,just like with the energy efficiency grants that i looked into and turns out I could have gotten and still could get to upgrade my evaporator and RO. If I remember right I could have gotten quiet a bit if I had applied. After going thru the questionnaire with the nice lady she was very surprised I did not want the money.....
    I'm sure every state is different but call your ag department and check. They will know who you should talk to if not them. Also your state maple association might know of some programs.
    Salisbury Sugarworks,,Parker Rowe, and friends
    Salisbury, N.H.
    1988 taps in 09
    over 2500 on vac in 2010
    no buckets in 2010
    2815 taps in 2011
    shooting for 3000 in 2012
    4000 taps? In 2014
    5x16 wood fired "Mighty Marvin"
    50 cords in the shed
    Old, old R.O.
    Charter member Andover/Salisbury Mapleholics
    http://img391.imageshack.us/img391/4...s009bx4.th.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    N.E.Ohio
    Posts
    174

    Default

    Yes there are great loans available for payment that you can use for equipment, paying off other things and expanding your operation. It is a loan though through the feds. It is 3% for 30 years. You can qualify for amounts based on the size of operation. Anywhere from 1000 to 100,000. It’s available at sba.gov payments are affordable. I know a construction company that got 75k and is paying 315 a month. Look into it might work for your situation
    Kevin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Potsdam in far northern New York
    Posts
    769

    Default

    It's snowing out there, and a perfect day to sit down and write. I sent an email letter to Elise Stefanik, Kristin Gillabrand, Chuck Schumer, Andrew Cuomo, Bernie Sanders, the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators, the local IDA, and the regional Chamber of Commerce, asking for action to declare a Disaster for the Maple Producers. I certainly can't speak for everyone, but my records show a 1/3rd shortfall for 2020, and a 2/3rd shortfall for 2021...the equivalent of a lost season. Take a minute today and write to your representatives at the National, State, County and regional levels. The producers of corn syrup get this kind of help every year...why shouldn't we?

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