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Different colors of maple syrup sit on the windowsill at Maple Ridge Sugar House in Loudon on Saturday, March 22, 2014.  Visitors could see maple syrup being made, tour the farm, visit with a horse, a cow and pigs and taste maple treats.

(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

USDA revises maple syrup grading with descriptive terms

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Grading standards for maple syrup have been revised to match international standards, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday, and now consumers can have a better understanding of what topping they’re buying. The revisions to the voluntary standards were released yesterday. The move comes in response to a 2010 petition from the International Maple Syrup Institute, which represents maple producers …

Milk industry fights back against ‘anti-dairy folks’

Monday, January 26, 2015

The milk industry is fed up with all the sourness over dairy. As Americans continue turning away from milk, an industry group is pushing back at its critics with a social media campaign trumpeting the benefits of milk. The association says it needs to act because attitudes about milk are deteriorating more rapidly, …

5 ways unmanned drones could affect the American food supply

Monday, January 26, 2015

Herding cattle. Counting fish. Taking an animal’s temperature. Applying pesticides. When it comes to drones, “your imagination can go pretty wild in terms of what would be possible,” says Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. This month, the Federal Aviation Administration issued the first permit for agricultural use of unmanned aerial …

Medical billing can vary widely in same market, study finds

Friday, January 23, 2015

Thanks to recent efforts to make health care prices more transparent, it’s become clear that Americans in some parts of the country pay much more for a doctor’s visit or common procedures than people in other regions. Now a new report from a major health insurance organization shows …

Atomic Scientists: We’re getting even closer to doomsday

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says Earth is now closer to human-caused doomsday than it has been in more than 30 years because of global warming and nuclear weaponry. But other experts say that’s way too gloomy. …

Business notes for Jan. 12, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

603Legal, a new single-member general law practice, opened in Manchester recently. RJ Meurin, the founder and principal attorney, will offer a wide range of legal services including family law, criminal defense and estate planning. The office, located at 444 Willow St., is open weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 …

New England gets windfall from plummeting heating oil

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The region that relies most heavily on heating oil to stay warm is getting a windfall from the big drop in prices, which have plummeted to the lowest level in six years. Across New England, lower prices mean …

From car lots to city budgets, cheap oil means changes

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cheap oil doesn’t only mean cheaper gas in the tank. It means that a car dealer in Illinois is shuffling the inventory of models he’ll be selling, that more students in Wisconsin may get school-provided iPads, that some …

Tax discrimination lawsuit against Concord is dismissed

Sunday, January 18, 2015

For years, Concord and FairPoint have been quietly locked in a legal squabble over whether the company, one of the state’s leading telecommunications firms, should pay taxes for the poles and wires it uses on city land. Now, in a move that could affect hundreds of similar cases …

Downtown: Boston Olympics bid could put passenger rail ‘on a faster track’

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Boston is a near-straight shot south from Concord, just 70 miles on Interstate 93. Those 70 miles could be the distance between Concord and the epicenter of the Summer Olympics in less than 10 years. Earlier this month, the United States Olympic Committee tapped Boston as its pick …

New solar array in Plymouth is one of the largest in New Hampshire

Sunday, January 18, 2015

An empty lot in Plymouth has been turned into one of the largest solar arrays in the state. The 121-kilowatt system is projected to generate a quarter of the annual electric needs of the Plymouth Village Water & Sewer District. It should help with the electric bill, which …

Business people for Jan. 19, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

David Patrick is the new director of conservation at the Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire. Patrick has a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from the University of Maine, Orono, and comes to the Conservancy from Paul Smith’s College in …

Business notes for Jan. 19

Sunday, January 18, 2015

In celebration of Earth Day, April 22, the Northeast Resource Recovery Association will once again sponsor the annual Backyard Compost Bin Sale to support nature’s way of recycling. You can purchase a compost bin, kitchen pail or rain barrel by contacting Stacey Morrison at 1-800-223-0150 or going to …