The only parts of North Dakota where you’ll find commercial sugarbeet fields are in the Red River Valley along the state’s eastern edge and in the Mon-Dak vicinity of northwestern North Dakota. The crop has never been grown commercially anywhere else in the Peace Garden State.
But there’s a good chance it will be, one day soon.
Along with North Dakota, energy beets also are receiving close attention in several other states — and especially in the Central Valley of California. There, the research and development catalyst has been Mendota Bioenergy LLC, a group comprised of former Spreckels Sugar Company growers from Fresno County. Also working on the project are various university water/energy/ biomass specialists and several companies with experience in biofuels engineering and development.
Energy Beet Agronomics: 2010 N.D. Yield Trials Demonstrate Productivity; Seed Companies Lay Groundwork With Special Varieties
When a commercial energy beet industry does takes root and grow in North Dakota, it will do so in areas outside the traditional beet belt. Beets for biofuel will be grown in locales where farmers have a long history of wheat, barley and sunflower production, not sugarbeets.