Chenango County ... not taking advantage of maple syrup opportunities?

NORWICH – While it may be one of Chenango County’s longstanding agricultural trades, the county is not taking full advantage of the maple syrup industry, say some of the area’s prominent agricultural leaders.

At a May presentation to the county’s Ag, Buildings and Grounds Committee, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County Executive Director Ken Smith spotlighted the opportunities of maple syrup production and how the industry – if appropriately handled – could become a lucrative enterprise in Chenango County through sales and agritourism, doing for Chenango what the wine industry does for the Finger Lakes region.

Approximately 70 percent of the county is made of woodland, only 15-20 percent of which is state owned. And of that, only one percent of the trees are currently being tapped for maple syrup, Smith told committee members – a percentage that mirrors the number of maple trees being tapped statewide, he added.

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