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The Associated Press April 6, 2011, 12:11PM ET

Researchers: New York maple industry under-tapped

Cornell University researchers say New York's maple industry could grow from a $12 million enterprise to a $92 million economic engine if more trees were tapped.

Michael Farrell of Cornell's maple research center in Lake Placid says producers tap less than 1 percent of available maple trees in New York. In contrast, Quebec taps more than a third of its maples and controls 80 percent of the worldwide maple syrup market.

The U.S. Forest Service says New York has 280 million potential taps, well over double the number in the Canadian province, but taps just 1.8 million.

Farrell is hopeful that a measure pitched by Sen. Charles Schumer for the 2012 Farm Bill would grow New York's maple industry through $20 million in grants for research, marketing and business development.

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