Energy beets looking good despite drought
The 2012 summer drought conditions, while bad for farmers, have been a good test for the current energy beet studies happening across North Dakota. There are 14 energy beet test plots across the state that are being closely analyzed in hopes of turning the crop into a biofuel.
Blaine Schatz, agronomist and director of the Carrington Research Extension Center, reported to AGWEEK that despite dry conditions, the energy beet yields are looking good. Some test plots are irrigated and some are not. This is the fourth year the energy beets have been studied.
The studies are led by Green Vision Group, Inc., in conjunction with North Dakota State University, which hopes that the tests will result in the development of 12 to 16 energy beet-to-ethanol plants in North Dakota. NDSU agronomists supervise the beet trials and the NDSU economists work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to qualify the crop as an advanced biofuel.