TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

July 26, 2012

‘Energy beets’ gets USDA boost

Whitley County fields to harvest this fall

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer

Patriot Bioenergy Corporation’s plans to fuel its ethanol project with high-sugar “energy beets” got a big spike Wednesday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture deregulated a variety of sugar beet being grown by the company in Whitley County.

The variety is referred to as Roundup Ready, or “RR” sugar beets. Patriot, which is based in Pikeville and has offices in Williamsburg and Lexington, has more than 20 acres of energy beets growing throughout Whitley County.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, notified Patriot’s strategic partner on the beet project, Betaseed, Inc. last Friday. Betaseed was told APHIS deregulated the RR beets, which are genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate.

According to Betaseed’s website, the Shakopee, Minn.-based company is the leading sugar beet supplier for growers in North America.

In a statement from their Pikeville office, Patriot CEO Roger Ford said, “This is an important milestone for our strategic feedstock partner and for Patriot Bioenergy’s project development that will enable us to more efficiently produce feedstock…We are pleased with the USDA action to deregulate Roundup Ready energy beet and look forward to expansion of our field trials as we move forward.”

Field trials on the energy beets have been going on in Whitley County since the spring of last year. This spring, field trials were expanded by Patriot in Whitley and Adair counties.

Harvesting of the energy beets is expected to happen this September and October. Field trials with the beets will also be conducted in September in both counties, along with an expansion into Pike County, in the eastern part of Kentucky.

According to Sugar Journal magazine, the deregulation of the Roundup Ready sugar beets came after APHIS completed “both a thorough environmental impact statement and plant pest risk assessment, holding three public meetings and considering and analyzing thousands of comments regarding its analyses…from the standpoint of plant pest risk, RR sugar beets are as safe as traditionally bred sugar beets.”

Patriot plans to build a plant using natural gas to spark the process to turn the beets into ethanol, which the company says is more efficient than with corn. They plan on using biomass — organic matter such as wood, plants, animal waste and organic compounds — that can be used to make fuels and other products. Biomass can also be converted directly into liquid fuels like ethanol.

A 99-acre piece of land in Williamsburg near the old concrete plant on Savoy Road is being considered for building the ethanol plant. Patriot hopes to have Roundup Ready beets grown from around 6,000 acres of leased farmland around a 90-mile radius of the plant proposed in Williamsburg.

Once the ethanol from the beets is made, the company plans to build a power plant on the ethanol plant site.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0721 WEB drugs and money seized.jpg Six arrested in drug investigation

    Times-Tribune
    Staff Report
    Six people were arrested Saturday on drug charges after a joint investigation by the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office and the London Police Department, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0721 WEB shelter cat 3458.jpg Shelter seeks help

    By Kristina Smith
    Staff Writer
    Renovating a 10,000-square-foot building isn’t easy, but Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter Director Deanna Myers is up to the task.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hwy. 192 widening hearing set

    By Kristina Smith
    Staff Writer
    A public information hearing Thursday will discuss the widening of KY-192.

    July 21, 2014

  • 0721 WEB Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter from 2012 "Touch-A-Truck".jpg Popular ‘Touch a Truck’ returns

    By Jeff Noble
    Staff Writer
    What do kids want to be when they grow up?

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0721 WEB flower shoe 3537.jpg Mountain Laurel flower show a success

    By Kristina Smith
    Staff Writer
    “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” was the theme for Saturday’s flower show presented by the Mountain Laurel District.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Today's Headlines: July 21, 2014

    Six arrested in drug investigation

    Shelter seeks help: Rebuilding continues, Knox-Whitley animal shelter needs more volunteers, donations

    Popular ‘Touch a Truck’ returns: Corbin Public Library event wraps up summer reading program

    Mountain Laurel Flower Show a success

    Tripped Up: Tough loss follows Saturday's walk-off win

    Comeback Effort: Knox County recovers from 24-0 loss, grabs 4-2 win in pool play

    July 21, 2014

  • 0719 Barbourville Police Chief Mike Broughton (close up).jpg Barbourville police chief retiring

    After nearly three years, Barbourville Police Chief Mike Broughton wants to take a rest.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0716 Dirk Shelton in his Air Force uniform.jpg Shelton funeral may be held midweek

    Arrangements are still incomplete as of Friday night, but family members have told the Times-Tribune the funeral of Staff Sergeant Dirk Shelton may be held either this Wednesday or Thursday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Part of Ky. 80 to be closed for bridge repair

    This friendly reminder for the weekend — part of Hwy. 80 east of London in Laurel County will be closed beginning Monday as crews from Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s District 11 office repair a bridge.

    July 20, 2014

  • 0718 DUCK FOR WEB.jpg Quack Pack

    About 50 ducks waddled up the banks near the Engineer Street Bridge Wednesday during a sunny and pleasant afternoon.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism Native American Teens Get Taste of College Legendary Actor James Garner Dies Ukraine Rebels: Black Boxes Will Be Returned Recording May Show Attempt at Crash Cover-up
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter