Maple syrup could become a row crop

A chance discovery by a pair of Vermont researchers suggests that densely-planted saplings might be all the maple syrup industry needs, not the mature forests they currently use.

It’s an interesting data point in the “spare or share” debate about agricultural land use, which asks, do we use more ecologically integrated farming techniques over more land, or do we intensify our production on less land? Maple syrup is one of the few crops that harvested exclusively from “natural” land. That it could be produced like a row crop suggests the trend toward intensification is inevitable.

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