Maine produced more maple syrup in 2015 than the previous year, despite a bitterly cold winter that shortened the average number of harvesting days for Maine taps.
Maine was again behind Vermont and New York for syrup production, holding fast to third place in the country for maple syrup output, producing about 553,000 gallons last year.
That’s a little more than 16 percent of the national output of 3.41 million gallons.
The USDA’s regional office said production was up 7 percent across Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania for the year, boosted by having about 4 percent more taps. Maine had the same number of taps.
The production value for 2015 has not yet been reported, but the gallons produced last year brought in about $17.2 million, at an average per-gallon price of $31.50.
Almost all of that syrup from Maine — 95 percent — was sold in bulk in 2014. About 83 percent of Vermont’s maple syrup producers sold their product to bulk buyers, compared with about 26 percent in New Hampshire, which has the highest share of producers (57 percent in 2014) selling direct in retail markets.