U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Tuesday that his Maple Tap Act legislation has passed the Senate and could open 70 million new taps in the north country, representing $19 million in additional revenue per year.
The bill would provide U.S. Department of Agriculture grants of up to $20 million per year to states that create programs to encourage individual landowners to open up their trees to maple tapping.
The bill also would provide money to support market promotion, maple industry research and development and education.
According to the news release accompanying the announcement, New York taps less than 1 percent of its nearly 300 million trees partly because nearly three quarters of the tappable maple trees are on privately owned land, leaving more than $80 million worth of maple sap inside the trees.
Sen. Schumer is asking his colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass this legislation as part of the 2013 Farm Bill.