In North America, about 1.2 million acres of sugarbeets are currently grown for sugar production. These beets supply over 50% of the US total sugar supply. Growing regions of North America could be expanded to include almost every state in the U.S, and sugarbeets can be grown as a winter crop in most southern regions. The use of beets for purposes beyond sugar for human consumption is virtually untapped.

Betaseed markets Energy BeetTM seed as beets used for energy. Beets are an excellent source of simple sugars for the production of biofuels and many advanced biofuel products. Beets will typically produce twice the biofuel per acre compared to corn, according to project developers. They have the ability to become a major industrial crop for all types of industrial sugars. In addition, beets can be used as high energy, high value livestock feed as whole beets, or beet pulp.

Achieving the 2007 federal mandate (Energy Independence Security Act) to produce 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels each year by 2022 will depend largely on crops like beets. Being a simple sugar plant, it can easily be utilized to produce industrial sugars without the use of enzymes and the need to convert starches to sugars.

First generation feedstocks (corn and grains) for biofuels currently produce about 14 billion gallons of biofuel each year. To achieve the 36 billion gallon mandate we will need about 21 billion gallons produced from second generation advanced biofuel feedstocks. Energy beet seed sold as beets are an advanced biofuel feedstock, and may well qualify as a cellulosic feedstock.

We have recently conducted trials using Energy Beet seed with good success. If you are interested in finding out more about our involvement with this crop, please contact Mark Schmidt.