California: An Ethanol-Fueled Comeback for Sugar Beets

Commercial Refinery to Use Local Sugar Beets for Production of 10 to 15 Million Gallons of Ethanol a Year

California once grew a lot of sugar beets to supply the state’s sugar mills. Most of those the mills are closed now, and farmers have turned to other row crops. But in the Central Valley, growers are on a quest to bring back the gnarly looking vegetable – this time to turn it into ethanol.

The story starts in the town of Mendota, a poor, farming community on the Valley’s west side, where jobs are scarce and rarely steady.

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Tags: unemployment, recession, co-op members, Mendota Bioenergy, byproducts, fertilizer, biomethane gas, sustainability


The California Report, 2013-09-20.


California Energy Commission
California State University
University of California, Davis


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