+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: Will the addiction ever be satisfied??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Redbay Ontario
    Posts
    128

    Default Will the addiction ever be satisfied??

    Iím looking to hear from some of the large producers that have thousands of taps and wondering if there ever is a point where enough is enough or are you always thinking about adding more? I get that property size or lease area size will likely determine the max totals you could have but do you always dream of more? Iím guessing most of you are several generations in that bush to be at that size but even still. Did you take over and start adding more lines after your father and grandfather. How old are some of your sugar bushes to be at that level of the game? Iím sure once your starting to see some actual annual income increase will fuel the fire to upsize. Thanks Iím advance and sorry if this is covered already but I couldnít find it.
    Happy sapping
    2017- first year 80 taps 22x36 home made arch and pan. Plus outside steamer pan setup.

    2018- ???taps same arch. New 8x12 sugar shack with additional 4 feet being added. Plan on setting up 2 gravity lines plus buckets. Prob around 100 taps

    2019- 85 taps 55l syrup 2019 can-am defender hd10 xt

    2020- 100 taps New 4x2 foot pan plus 1x2 pre heat pan. New homemade arch. 6x12 addition added to the shack.

    2021-160 taps. Same everything pretty much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    poultney vermont
    Posts
    790

    Default

    For some of us like myself it's a disease! It's always fun to try to produce more with the same setup and that tells us what we do is helping or hurting.

    I believe that some of us are just looking for something to do that ends up being productive and enjoyable to an extent, While others like myself love producing things starting with nothing and ending up with a finished product is very rewarding. There is a great sense of Pride and accomplishment that comes with this especially when you start getting up there in Tap count, and then those like myself who have always worked for themselves take an entrepreneurial look on it. I guess I feel I have the entrepreneurial aspect and love the sense of accomplishment that goes with it.

    I will say at 5200 taps I don't think in happy yet. My goal is to make between 3-5000 Gallons of syrup which will make for a profitable enough operation to be sustainable and the ability to make a living.
    18x30 sugarshack
    5100 taps high vac
    3x10 inferno with steampan
    7'' wes fab filter press
    10'' cdl air filter press
    D&G 1000 with recirculation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,579

    Default

    UVM Extension does a good amount of "business" work on maple, led by Mark Cannella. Lots of good info on size of operation vs income/expense. For those actually trying to make money from maple, it is a good place to start when planning a business to provide income.
    https://blog.uvm.edu/farmvia/?page_id=394
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    N.E.Ohio
    Posts
    159

    Default

    I am first generation farmer and got hooked on maple about 10 yrs ago. We started with 10 trees and now have 1000. As others have said it is an addition. We will probably stop when the demand for selling retail stops which is based on how much we want to grow. For me personally the hustle is what drives me to keep going, I love being able to market our farm and family story which in turn keeps us growing. Looking at the future there is no stopping, just keep adding trees and most of all have fun at the size that is satisfying to you weather its 10 or 100k
    Kevin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    63

    Default

    I guess you would need to define large producer a little better. This partly depends on your region too because a 10k tapping operation may be considered large to some people (in one region) but not other people (in a different regions).

    Mostly I (no I don't consider myself as a large producer) try to keep it fun, but I am always looking to add and/or change out sections to increase efficiency and productivity. That being said the addiction never stops and it hard to get to a point of being full time because larger equipment is pricy which hurts the bottom line. It's not much different than the milk market around where I live it seems (on a good year you sink profits into equipment and adding, and on a bad year you sink non existent profits into adding to cover the looses).

    The generational thing seems to be less a part of producers size as everyone wants in on maple, and its more about who is comfortable with debt from what I see. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of bush's out there that have big time heritage, but that doesn't necessarily help you get to a big tap count if you don't what the debt of the shiny 70 thousand dollar RO.

    For me the heritage is very important and I'd be fine with staying where we are right now but if the right opportunity arose I would do an expansion simple because I love and I'd want to give more to my kids not because I think it could get me over the hump to being full time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Redbay Ontario
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Wow hard to believe that a 10k tap operation could be considered a small operation. I own a campground in my area so I understand what would be involved in starting something like that to a certain degree. Itís a slow time during the month of March for me kinda at the end of ice fishing and snowmobiling season so thatís one of the reasons I started doing it. My grandfather was also into it and judging from pics Iíve seen he had 100s of buckets. He had a stroke when I was real young so I never had the chance to work with him in the bush but have seen many pics and stories. I guess thatís why I like the heritage part of it.
    I have no intention on making it another business thatís for sure. Iím leaving that to the pros. I sell what I can in our store during our camping season in hopes of covering my costs plus a little extra. Give a lot away to friends and family as Iím sure so many of you do. I get cost of the equipment is a huge part of the picture when your talking a 10k tree operation. I guess thatís why I was thinking a lot of these farms were being passed down and therefore not having to totally start from scratch with equipment. Using whatís already in place and then adding/upgrading to it as you continue down your path. if you have deep enough pockets then I guess you can start any business from scratch but that would be a pretty big task to take on unless your hiring people with the knowledge to make it happen. Even if your building debt Iím sure your going to need some good credit or investors to borrow for something like that especially if your just starting out with zero experience.
    I was more just curious on wether the big boys are always dreaming of more taps like the little boys and how long it took for you to get to the thousands of trees tapped. I canít walk past a sugar maple In my bush without looking at how I could get my lines there lol. Iíd like to be around the 500 taps one day and thatís what kinda made me think when I hit the 500 mark will I be dreaming of 1000. Iím sure I will as I have a bit of an addictive personality when it comes to things like this. Donít get me started on fishing and hunting and what ive collected with those hobbies through the years. better yet donít tell my wife. Thanks
    2017- first year 80 taps 22x36 home made arch and pan. Plus outside steamer pan setup.

    2018- ???taps same arch. New 8x12 sugar shack with additional 4 feet being added. Plan on setting up 2 gravity lines plus buckets. Prob around 100 taps

    2019- 85 taps 55l syrup 2019 can-am defender hd10 xt

    2020- 100 taps New 4x2 foot pan plus 1x2 pre heat pan. New homemade arch. 6x12 addition added to the shack.

    2021-160 taps. Same everything pretty much.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    poultney vermont
    Posts
    790

    Default

    One word of advice to anyone trying to be profitable..... the 2 worst things you can do are as follows:

    Take a loan on excess of 5000. This will not only take the fun out of it as you must make a solid profit, otherwise your a NPO, your not trying to make 100k your first year but you don't want it to be discouraging with a loss either. You MUST only spend what you can. This requires two things. 1 start with 500 taps and don't plan on being at 3-5000k for atleast 5-6 years. This will do two things a give you the ability to prove yourself and find out if you are meant to work in the outdoors Mother Nature is a mean b**** and many can't handle it. 2 instead of flopping a 75k investment you may only flop 10k which is digestible. I've seen big money enter maple but they aren't country enough to make it, and a business only as good as it's employees if your relying on a ten man crew- I've had employees I know first hand.

    Secondly, go on YouTube and watch Robert kiyosaki "rich poor dad" .... I've been self-employed since I was 20 years old and the one thing about working for yourself you need to absolutely not be married to a paycheck every Friday, if you need a paycheck every Friday to pay the electricity bill pay that car payment to make that mortgage payment you're better off staying at your 9 to 5, do not work for yourself trust me. This is the most important thing to being an entrepreneur, forget that Friday paycheck, we make our 'profits' not 'paychecks' monthly, bi monthly or whenever that wheel completes it's turn.

    Maple sugaring is no different it's an entrepreneur type business. You will have an investment and you will have a +/- return based on how you play your cards it's that simple.

    You can do all the forms and worksheets you want which may or may not work for a given scenario, but nothing will replace ingenuity and the will to succeed when your in the mits of it that's a fact. Common sense approach and hard work is all you need. If your car breaks down and you're too scared to open the hood and try to figure it out cuz you're not mechanically inclined he might want to think twice about spending a hundred grand in the maple business, because when you're in the middle of March and your pump, releaser, or ro is broken guess what- there is not a garage on every corner to help you your almost on your own in that regard, yes leader, d and g, cdl all have techs but you have 2 techs serving 100 people. When you have 5000-50000 gallons of sap and it's 40-50degrees out that sap isn't going to wait for your ro to get fixed it may spoil and your now looking money on the ground because you haven't the ingenuity or mechanically inclined enough to fix it.

    Anyways just some food for thought for those looking to make an investment. Alot of things to consider

    Btw forgot about that shiny 50k r.o that can happen after you use a used one with a few mildew stains on hoses for 10 years and again prove your worthy of the business.....all ROs separate water and sugar not just the expensive ones. I bough my 1000 for 7500 sent to canada added recirc for 2600, they also swapped all hoses, new valves in front and in back, etc. My next vessel will cost 3-5k but for less than 15k I'll have an ro that performs as well as a 25-30,000 machine. Just an example of how you can stay away from payments and enjoy more profits!! You really have to be cautious where you unload your money!
    Last edited by blissville maples; 03-05-2021 at 08:21 AM.
    18x30 sugarshack
    5100 taps high vac
    3x10 inferno with steampan
    7'' wes fab filter press
    10'' cdl air filter press
    D&G 1000 with recirculation

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hkb82 View Post
    I was more just curious on wether the big boys are always dreaming of more taps like the little boys and how long it took for you to get to the thousands of trees tapped. I canít walk past a sugar maple In my bush without looking at how I could get my lines there lol. Iíd like to be around the 500 taps one day and thatís what kinda made me think when I hit the 500 mark will I be dreaming of 1000. Iím sure I will as I have a bit of an addictive personality when it comes to things like this. Donít get me started on fishing and hunting and what ive collected with those hobbies through the years. better yet donít tell my wife. Thanks
    To answer your question it depends on the person, but a lot of the big boys (around me that generally above 20k taps) still want to expand. With technology changes existing operations could have the potential of costing more than a new operation because not only do you need to stay current (somewhat anyways) but you have the added fees and time of getting rid of old material and equipment, and the larger the equipment is the worse resale is. I sway I can go but a 6x16 evaporator somedays for the same as a 2x8.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    175

    Default

    I think part of the attraction of wanting to increase tap count, etc., is when you realize how much work is involved with even a small operation and thinking that increasing tap count and efficiency (RO, larger evaporator, etc) won't increase the work *that* much, but will yield much more output - more output for the same or a little more work. It taps into (pun intended lol) our latent desire to make and improve.
    Dave
    2014 30 taps, steam tray pans
    2015 ~100 taps, in conjunction with University of Louisville
    2x5 Smoky Lake hybrid pan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Redbay Ontario
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Not sure I agree with it not increasing the work load. More taps for me equals more lines more taps more leaks more ice time trenching through the bush bigger tank storage and that alone can be more work dealing with ice and added pumps. Letís not forget cleanup at the end of the season.

    Ecp you said to answer my question it depends on the person but thatís why I posted it I thought. To hear from a bunch of people about more the addiction side of it. I understand the cost side of things. Again to a certain degree as Iím hobby size. Iím always looking at new stuff online and in the books they send me even if itís way outa my league.
    Guess I started the thread wrong. I donít mind hearing about the business side of it but thatís not really what I was looking for. I just thought people might chime in with stuff like
    Ya Iíve been doing it for 30 years Iím the third generation in the same bush. Addicted still as day one grew over the years to 7000 taps. Ups and downs highs and lows Stuff like that.
    Maybe a thread like the (you know youíre an addict when) one but titled how addicted are you lol. Thanks and glad to see so many responses.
    2017- first year 80 taps 22x36 home made arch and pan. Plus outside steamer pan setup.

    2018- ???taps same arch. New 8x12 sugar shack with additional 4 feet being added. Plan on setting up 2 gravity lines plus buckets. Prob around 100 taps

    2019- 85 taps 55l syrup 2019 can-am defender hd10 xt

    2020- 100 taps New 4x2 foot pan plus 1x2 pre heat pan. New homemade arch. 6x12 addition added to the shack.

    2021-160 taps. Same everything pretty much.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts