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Mild winter a boon for NY maple-syrup makers

New York is the second-largest domestic producer and its industry is growing. Several factors have contributed to the increase, including improved technology. Now, powerful vacuum pumps draw sap through miles of plastic tubing strung between trees in the woods.

Salem, New York

SNOWMOBILE sales have sputtered, ski resorts are struggling and some bait shops, which rely heavily on ice fishing, can barely afford to keep their lights on. But an exceptionally mild winter in the northern stretch of New York state has been a boon for an industry that...