Industrial beet production economics meetings scheduled in N.D.

Farm Forum

Farmers are invited to attend informational meetings on the economics of industrial beet production at five locations across central North Dakota the week of March 17.

Industrial beets, also called energy beets, are varieties of beets bred for industrial sugars that can be converted to a wide range of biofuels and chemicals.

The meetings will provide farmers with economic information and tools to help them decide if they want to grow industrial beets. Inputs, equipment, production costs and expected returns will be discussed.

“Farmers voiced strong interest in growing beets for industrial purposes during meetings held in late January,” says David Ripplinger, North Dakota State University Extension Service bioproducts and bioenergy economist and assistant professor. “However, they were clear that more information, especially on economics, was needed before making a decision.”

Meeting locations, times and dates are:

• Cando – 1 to 3 p.m., Wednesday, March 19, Extension Service office, Towner County

• Carrington – 9 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, March 19, Carrington Research Extension Center

• Jamestown – 1 to 3 p.m., Tuesday, March 18, Farmers Union headquarters

• Langdon – 1 to 3 p.m., Thursday, March 20, Cavalier County Courthouse

• Valley City – 9 to 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 18, Eagles Club

The development of beets as a new industrial crop is a partnership between Green Vision Group based in Fargo and Heartland Renewable Energy based in Muscatine, Iowa. The research component is led by NDSU.

Additional project funding is provided by the North Dakota Renewable Energy Council, North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission, and many communities and private companies.