Assessing The Growth Potential Of The Maple Syrup Industry In The United States: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach Based On Ecologic, Socio-Economic, And Public Policy Factors
This dissertation examines the growth potential of the U.S. maple syrup industry from a vari ety of ecologic, socio-economic, and public policy perspectives. It outlines the number of tappable trees by state, taking into account the species- sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and red maple (Acer rubrum)- ownership category, and the density and accessibility of the trees. Vermont taps the highest percentage of its available trees (3%) and thus leads the nation in syrup produ ction. States with the most significant growth potential include Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. Production could also expand to fill local markets for syrup in states such as Illinois and Missouri. The extent to which the industry develops is based largely on l andowner attitudes, socio-economic factors, and supply/demand dynamics that dictate profitability. I performed multinomial logistic regression using survey data to explain the characteristic s that influence a landowners' desire to utilize their maple trees for syru p production- these include residing in New England, gender, and education. Since many large landowners are concerned about the effect of tapping maple trees on sawtimber value , I developed a Net Present Value (NPV) calculator that allows foresters and landowners to determine if it is more profitable to utilize maple trees for syrup or sawtimber production. The main determinants include tree size and growth, stumpage payments, lease payments, property taxes, discount rate, and the time horizon of the investment period. Our changing climate has caused much speculation that maples will migrate northward and be replaced with oaks and hickories by the end of the century. Thus, I utilized FIA data to explore recent trends in maple and oak/hickory abundance for 26 states over the past several decades and found that shade -tolerant sugar and red maples have been infiltrating the understories of oak/hickory forests throughout the eastern U.S. Finally, I examine the role of public policies in the development of the U.S. maple industry. In particular, I discuss differences in policies for tapping on public land, property taxation, government resources devoted to the maple industry in research, extension, and promotion, and the effect of the Quebec Federation's quota and pricing system on market expansion.
maple syrup; agroforestry; non-timber forest products
Chabot, Brian Frank
Allred, Shorna Broussard; Mudge, Kenneth W; Stedman, Richard Clark
Ph. D., Natural Resources
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis