CFAES Give Today
News Releases Archive (Prior to 2011)

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Maple Tech Expert Headlines Ohio Maple Days

January 7, 2011

WOOSTER, Ohio — Bob Crooks, whose company, Marcland Instruments USA of Schroon Lake, N.Y., makes advanced control, measuring and monitoring equipment for maple syrup production, will be a featured speaker at Ohio State University’s 2011 Ohio Maple Days.

Crooks will speak on such topics as automatic draw-off units and satellite sap-flow monitoring systems -- devices that can save a producer’s time, improve the quality of syrup or both -- in two talks during the program.

An automatic draw-off “will help you get the maximum efficiency and reduce the need to continually watch the levels and depths in the pans,” said Gary Graham, a natural resources specialist with OSU Extension and the program’s organizer.

“A draw-off," Graham explained, "will get you away from batch production to a more consistent or continuous draw-off for a more density-consistent product.”

Crooks will cover the parts of a draw-off, what they do and how they work, plus installation, setup and use. In his second talk, he’ll look at satellite sap-flow monitoring systems and other new technologies, all of them meant to yield more and better syrup.

A satellite sap-flow monitoring system, Graham noted, can “help you know when to go collect in the far reaches of the sugarbush. It will help you if you’re interested in tapping trees at a remote, off-site location.”

Crooks has degrees in math and physics, has previous work experience as a process application engineer, and started Marcland in 1969. The company’s other products include ph meters, thermometers, barometers, refractometers, and stainless-steel ball valves and fittings.

Ohio Maple Days is a daylong workshop offered on three dates in three different locations:

-- Jan. 20, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., in Fulton (Morrow County) at the Lutheran Memorial Camp, 2790 State Route 61.

-- Jan. 21, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., in Fredericksburg (Wayne County) at the Mennonite Christian Assembly Church, 10664 Fryburg Rd.

-- Jan. 22, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., in Burton (Geauga County) at Joe J.S. Miller’s Window Shop, 15020 Shedd Rd.

The speakers and topics will be the same at all three locations. Graham and Bridget Meiring, program coordinator of Ohio State’s C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic, also are slated to speak.

Registration costs $30 per person, includes lunch and is due by Jan. 11. Pre-registration is required for meals.

To register, send your name, address and registration fee (checks payable to OSU Extension) to OSU Extension, ATTN: Lisa, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691. Please indicate which location you wish to attend.

For more information, call 330-263-3799, e-mail or download the program flier at

Sponsoring Ohio Maple Days are the Ohio Maple Program, OSU Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. All are part of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Ohio’s maple syrup production brings in around $5 million every year to the state’s economy and ranks fifth nationally. Ohio’s maple syrup season goes from early February through mid-March, depending on the weather.

Also at the Burton location will be a trade show the night before the workshop. It’s from 5-9 p.m. on Jan. 21. Admission is $3 at the door.

- 30 -

Kurt Knebusch
Gary Graham