SCHUMER ANNOUNCES, FOLLOWING HIS PUSH IN LEWIS COUNTY THIS FALL, HIGHEST-EVER FUNDING TOTAL FOR CRITICAL MAPLE PROGRAM IN RECENTLY-PASSED SPENDING PACKAGE; SENATOR SAYS FUNDING WILL BE USED TO INVEST IN RESEARCH, BOOST GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS
Schumer Secures $4 Million In Total Funding For Acer Program That Increases Production, Strengthens Conservation And Drives Efficiency In Maple Sugaring
Previously, Schumer Visited Lewis County Last November To Push For Funding Boost For Acer Access And Development Program, Which Was Established By His Legislation The Maple Tapping Access Program Act
Funding Boost Will Spout Sweet Results For Upstate NY And The North Country
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that, following his push, he secured a total of $4 million for the Acer Access and Development Program in the recently passed minibus spending package – the highest level of funding the program has ever received. Schumer explained that the Maple Tapping Access Program Act provides opportunities for investment and research in maple syrup, helping producers across Upstate New York, specifically in the North Country, increase their production, strengthen conservation and drive efficiency in maple sugaring. Schumer detailed that maple sugaring provides income to an estimated 10,000 maple producers spread across the country, and added that the increase in funding will allow U.S. producers to better compete in the global marketplace with countries like Canada, which are responsible for 85 percent of the world’s maple product. Schumer previously visited the American Maple Museum in Lewis County during November of last year to push for increased funding for the Acer Access and Development Program.
“This critical funding will help bring a much-deserved boost to New York’s maple syrup producers, helping them tap into the state’s massive potential,” said Senator Schumer. “The increase in federal funds will be used to help Upstate producers increase their production, strengthen conservation, drive efficiency in maple sugaring, and increase global competitiveness. I’ll always fight for funds to aid Upstate New York’s maple producers, because for them, money literally can grow on trees – maple trees.”
Schumer explained that his legislation, the Maple Tapping Access Program, later became the Acer Access and Development Program and was originally signed into law as part of the 2014 Farm Bill. Specifically, this legislation provided authorization for USDA grants to states that create programs to encourage individual, private landowners to open up their trees to maple tapping. Schumer's legislation also provided authorization for USDA grants to states to support market promotion, maple industry research and development, and education through leading institutions. With the program’s authorization recently expiring at the end of FY18, Schumer was instrumental in getting language included to reauthorize the program through FY23 in this year’s Farm Bill.
The maple industry in New York has seen significant growth in recent years. According to New York State, New York's maple production constituted about 19 percent of the national total. The number of maple taps also continues to climb, with more than 2.73 million taps in production in 2018, the highest number of taps since 1943. This allows the state to rank second in the nation for maple production, behind only Vermont, with 806,000 gallons of maple syrup produced in 2018, according to New York State. Additionally, state maple production has increased 350% since 1998 and 50% over the last 5 years, with the North Country leading the way in the production.
Maple syrup is an important agricultural product across 10 states in the Northeast and Upper Midwest. According to the USDA, in 2017, the United States produced more than 4.27 million gallons of syrup, worth approximately $147 million. Maple is also a critical conservation crop, which helps keep our forests in production, conserves important lands, protects water quality, and provides a valuable economic benefit to rural communities.
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