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CITY, ND. ( NDSU Extension Educators gave the pros and cons to farmers and business leaders in Valley City and Jamestown on March 17 to gauge their interest in growing energy beets during informational meetings.
NDSU Department of Agribusiness assistant professor David Ripplinger says it’s important to get growers on board first before moving forward. He says many farmers are measuring differences associated with input and equipment costs.

The Green Vision Group is targeting five potential sites for energy beet production in this region. The beets can be converted into biofuels.

NDSU Agribusiness educator Ron Haugen told farmers on Tuesday that the energy beets can average about 25 tons per acre. He says the yields are higher on irrigated land.

Haugen said unlike traditional sugar beets energy beets can grow well in most soils including those that are rocky and cooler near the Canadian border.

A number of Barnes County farmers say they are still in a wait and see mode as they continue to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages associated with the energy beet crop.

Remaining meetings are listed below:

* Cando – Wednesday, March 18, 1 to 3 p.m., Towner County Extension Service office

* Carrington – Thursday, March 19, 9 to 11 a.m., Carrington Research Extension Center

The survey is being conducted as part of a project sponsored by the Federal-State Market Improvement Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and NDSU.

For more information, contact your local county Extension agent; or David Ripplinger, bioenergy specialist, at (701) 231-5265; or De Laporte at (701) 231-8672.