Quote Originally Posted by 220 maple View Post
Dr. Tim,
As you can remember from the past Iíve been fairly consistent about my beliefs that your research center is finding more productive ways to get sap and therefore more syrup, but I always said get the business/marketing department involved at U of Vt. So we donít have too much syrup setting in reserve.
There is definitely not too much syrup in reserve. Maple industry sales have been increasing about 5-8% annually for the past 15 yrs (since the last shortage of syrup around 2008) and were fairly well matched with increases in production in the U.S. and Canada. The Quebec Federation reserve did a lot to ensure that supply and prices remained stable. Unfortunately, the Canadian dollar dropped a good bit over that time period, which weakened the amount that packers paid for bulk syrup in the U.S. That factor alone had the biggest impact on the lower price of bulk U.S. syrup.

With rising demand and less than optimal production for a few years, by the spring of 2022 the Quebec Federation reserve was getting quite low. The syrup remaining was most likely not of the highest quality (to put it nicely). A short production year in 2022 would have: 1) increased bulk, retail and ingredient prices (good perhaps for producers in the short-term, but bad for consumers in the short-term), 2) depleted the reserve (putting more pressure to raise prices even further) and 3) resulted in inferior syrup reaching the marketplace (bottom of the barrel stuff). All of that would have led to a drop off in future demand and dropping bulk and retail prices. We've seen that happen in the past.

There are a number of maple business projects ongoing at UVM and the State of Vermont Agency of Agriculture (and have been for several years). Links are below.

https://www.uvm.edu/extension/agricu...le/bizmodules/
https://www.uvm.edu/extension/agricu...modules/events
https://blog.uvm.edu/farmvia/?cat=12638
https://vermontmaplebulletin.wordpress.com/
https://agriculture.vermont.gov/maple-data-dashboard

The majority of maple syrup produced in Vermont is for the bulk market, hence the emphasis of PMRC on production (and tree health). Extension and the VT Agency of Agriculture are the marketing sides of the equation. We don't control what they do, but do work with them as our missions intersect.