Studies Show Energy Beets Can Be Grown in Non-Traditional Sugarbeet Areas
by Sue Roesler (Minnesota Farm Guide) Energy beets are growing hardy for the second year in a row in crop fields south of Minot’s NDSU Northern Research Extension Center near Minot, N.D.
They will soon be harvested and the tonnage analyzed, but energy beets have been proven to produce double the ethanol per acre than corn, according to Craig Talley, Betaseed technology manager. Former research has shown yields from 28 tons per acre on dryland acres to 41 tons per acre on irrigated acres, he added.
A part of the BeetsAll Biofuel project, these beets are being grown at several areas in North Dakota this summer. The 14 test plots in 11 locations included Carrington, Hannaford/Dazey, Oakes, Turtle Lake, Williston, Langdon, Colgate, Litchville, Jamestown, Harvey, as well as Minot. These plots are sponsored by Betaseed and Syngenta-Hilleshog.
BeetsAll Biofuel is a partnership between the Green Vision Group (GVG) of Fargo, N.D., and Heartland Renewable Energy (HRE) Muscatine Iowa, with research from plot trials across the state by North Dakota State University (NDSU).
The plot at Minot was one of several across the state this year to show energy beets can be grown virtually anywhere in the Upper Midwest.
…Ron Holth of Green Vision Group, said they are in phase two of research.
“We have found it is cheaper and more efficient to use energy beets for ethanol than other crops,” Holth said.
Holth said they want to establish 12 sustainable ethanol facilities across North Dakota that will each produce 20 million gallons of ethanol per year but they have not decided on the exact locations yet. Each plant will use energy beets grown within a 20-mile radius and support job creation in rural communities. They want several small plants so farmers would not have to transport their beets a long distance which would cut into economic benefits. READ MORE