Hardwick, VT – The nearly $54,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program will allow the sugar makers to install reverse osmosis systems. Those systems remove water from the sap before it's boiled down into syrup, reducing the amount of energy used. University of Vermont Extension Maple Specialist Tim Wilmot.
Sweet Stone Maple Farm Owner Eric Remick is one of the sugarmakers receiving a REAP grant.
Reverse osmosis systems are becoming common in Vermont sugar houses, according to Vermont Sugarmakers' Association Administrative Assistant Mary Croft.
Sugarmaker Eric Remick says he felt encouraged to install the reverse osmosis equipment by research at the Proctor Maple Research Center indicating there is no impact on the quality nor flavor of the syrup from the use of the machines. Again UVM Maple Specialist Tim Wilmot.
The amount of the grants range from $2,000 to $24,000 and finance up to 25 percent of a project's cost. USDA statistics show that Vermont led the nation in maple syrup production in 2011 with over 1-point-1 million gallons produced.