Only 12 states produce maple syrup, and the Buckeye State is one of them. Its topography makes Ohio an ideal location for maple production. As the location of former glaciers, Ohio’s soil has the perfect mix of minerals and soil type. Maple trees are grown in both the northern and southern regions of Ohio. The growing seasons in these regions may differ by three to four weeks, but both produce a lot of syrup.
The maple industry has had a significant impact, contributing $5 million to Ohio’s economy each year. In 2013 the state ranked in the top five nationally producing 155,000 gallons, an increase of more than 50 percent from the 100,000 gallons produced in 2012.
Not only does the sale of maple products contribute to the economy directly, but it also supports agritourism during syrup season. Pancake breakfasts and maple syrup festivals throughout the state attract tourists and encourage them to purchase products and celebrate Ohio’s maple legacy.
As the birthplace of the modern syrup evaporator, created by D.M. Cook in the mid-1800s, Ohio has contributed significantly to the maple syrup industry throughout history. About 600 producers across the state continue to innovate the maple production process. Sap is now filtered through a reverse osmosis machine that removes 75 percent of the water from the sap. This process cuts the boiling time and uses only a fraction of the fuel that was once required.