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Calif. farmers convert beets to ethanol

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FIVE POINTS, Calif.—Amid the vast almond orchards and grape fields that surround Five Points in California's Central Valley, a once-dominant crop that has nearly disappeared from the state's farms is making a comeback: sugar beets.

But these beets won't be processed into sugar. A dozen farmers, supported by university experts and a $5 million state grant, are set to start construction of a Fresno County demonstration plant that will convert the beets into ethanol.

If the demo project in Five Points succeeds, the farmers will build the nation's first commercial-scale bio-refinery in nearby Mendota to turn beets into biofuel. Europe already has more than a dozen such plants, but most ethanol in the U.S. is made from corn.

http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_22855974/calif-farmers-team-up-convert-beets-ethanol

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I hope this is successful, and I hope it is economically viable. Because corn is such a staple in our food change, it was a very poor choice to use it for alcohol production. It was done ONLY for the benefit of Big Agriculture, ADM and others.

Brazil uses sugar cane, as I understand it, and that is much better.

I'm all for alternative fuels, but using corn was a stupid choice.

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I hope this is successful, and I hope it is economically viable. Because corn is such a staple in our food change, it was a very poor choice to use it for alcohol production. It was done ONLY for the benefit of Big Agriculture, ADM and others.

Brazil uses sugar cane, as I understand it, and that is much better.

I'm all for alternative fuels, but using corn was a stupid choice.

They can always use it for booze:

Tuzemsky, a sugar beet-based alcohol brand from Czech Republic, is golden red in color.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_beet

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