E-mail: nass-ny@nass.usda.gov
(518) 457-5570

MAPLE


NEW YORK MAPLE SYRUP VALIDATION STUDY


The New York Agricultural Statistics Service conducted a special one-time survey in the spring of 2002 to determine the accuracy of maple syrup estimates in New York. The Maple Validation Study was done due to concern in the Maple Industry that the number of producers and production estimates for New York were low. The industry felt there were producers who never got surveyed or counted and therefore the list of producers used by the New York Agricultural Statistics Service was not complete.

The goal of the study was to develop a list of all producers in selected counties and compare it to the existing list to determine its completeness. Counties were grouped into four size groups based on the total number of taps in each county. The size groups, taps per size group, and the number of counties per size group are shown in Table 1. Funding limited the study to the 12 counties shown in Table 2.

TABLE 1:  Maple Size Groups, Taps per Size Group, and

Number of Counties

SIZE GROUP RANGE(TAPS) NO.TAPS NO. COUNTIES

1

0-24,999

314,962

39

2

25,000-49,999

316,543

7

3

50,000-99,999

293,444

4

4

100,000+

331,636

2

TOTAL

 

1,256,585

52


 
TABLE 2: Counties Sampled by Size Group

            SIZE GROUP 1                                                        SIZE GROUP 2

            Columbia                                                                  Washington

            Schuyler                                                                   Otsego

            Rensselaer                                                                Chautauqua

            Warren

            Tioga

            SIZE GROUP 3                                                          SIZE GROUP 4

            Cattaraugus                                                                Wyoming

            Clinton                                                                        Lewis


All available resources were used to track down producers in the sampled counties. County agents, FSA personnel, maple specialists, maple association officers, and producers were contacted to compile the lists. Office staff as well as telephone and field interviewers made the contacts.

As lists were received from the contacts, names were checked against the existing list of maple producers. Any name not on this list was put on a questionnaire and the person was interviewed to determine whether or not they were in fact a commercial maple producer. The number of taps and syrup production were recorded during the contact. The number of producers not on the existing list and their total taps and production were used to calculate incompleteness and generate expanded totals.

As a result of the study, production and taps estimated by the New York Agricultural Statistics Service were determined to be low. State level estimates were revised upward 14 percent to account for previous incompleteness. Revised county estimates for number of producers, taps, and production will be published after reviewing the results of the 2002 Census of Agriculture later this year.

TABLE 3 shows by county and size group percent of names from the lists acquired that were on the existing list of producers, the percent added as producers and the percent that were not added because they were determined not to be commercial producers. Commercial producers are defined as having 100 taps. Coverage of the existing list was much better in the larger size groups. This indicates the majority of the incompleteness in the existing list was comprised of producers in the counties with fewer taps. The New York Agricultural Statistics Service will, as time and funds permit, make an extra effort to concentrate list building activities in the smaller sized counties that were not sampled for this study.

TABLE 3: PERCENT OF ACQUIRED NAMES ON THE EXISTING

 LIST, PERCENT OF NAMES ADDED AS PRODUCERS AND

PERCENT NOT ADDED AS PRODUCERS

Area Percent of Acquired Names

Already on

Current

List

Added to

Current

List

Not Added -

Did not

produce

syrup

Columbia 10 19 71
Schuyler 71 0 29
Rensselaer 52 24 24
Warren 21 10 69
Tioga 52 9 39
Size Group 1 Total 35 14 51
Washington 52 19 29
Otsego 37 33 30
Chautauqua 40 9 51
Size Group 2 Total 41 16 43
Cattaraugus 46 5 49
Clinton 48 8 44
Size Group 3 Total 47 7 46
Wyoming 66 5 29
Lewis 66 16 18
Size Group 4 Total 66 11 23


The expansion factors that were calculated for each size group to account for list incompleteness are shown in TABLE 4. Again, the largest expansions occurred in the smaller size groups. Ironically, the expansions calculated at the state level for both producers and production were both 14 percent. These were used to adjust the state level estimates upward. The size group expansion factors will be used to revise county level estimates upward following a careful review of the results of the 2002 Census of Agriculture.

TABLE 4:  Expansion Factors Calculated to Cover List

Incompleteness by Size Group

Size Group Expansion Factors
Producers Production
1 1.23 1.22
2 1.13 1.16
3 1.05 1.11
4 1.07 1.06
State 1.14 1.14