BURLINGTON — Vermont’s maple producers will have an opportunity to hear the latest from industry and university maple experts on maple production, marketing and business management, sugarbush health and climate and maple regulations at the 2018 Vermont Maple Conference, planned for two locations.
The annual conference, a collaboration of University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association (VMSMA), will be held Jan. 20 at the School for International Training Graduate Institute in Brattleboro (1 Kipling Road) and Jan. 27 at Lamoille Union Middle School, Hyde Park (736 VT Rte. 15). Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. with the program getting underway promptly at 8:15 a.m.
The event is open to producers with any size operation as well as those interested in becoming a sugarmaker. Registration is $10 for VMSMA members, $40 for non-members and $5 for students. Lunch costs an extra $15.
The opening session includes brief presentations on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program in Worcester, Massachusetts, and how the Food Safety Modernization Act will affect sugarmakers. David Hall, a director of the Federation of Quebec Maple Producers, will provide a brief market summary. All three speakers will present full workshop sessions on their topic later in the day.
Producers may choose from 23 different concurrent workshops throughout the day-long conference. Several sessions will feature the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center’s research including reverse osmosis and syrup flavor and quality, sustainable tapping guidelines and biological and environmental control of sap flow and sugar. Panel discussions will explore the benefits and liabilities of opening sugarhouses to the public and the state of the maple market and the industry.
A number of workshops will focus on the business side of maple from understanding the cost of production to digital marketing. Other topics include Vermont wetland rules and maple operations; sugarbush management; a forest tent caterpillar update; the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets’ best management practices for maple operations; and sugar maple risk mapping; among other topics.
Program details can be found in the December 2017 “Maple Mainline” at http://go.uvm.edu/extension-maple.
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