A plan by a group of farmers to build a demonstration-scale sugar-beet-to-ethanol plant in California's Fresno County would be an economic boost to the area, especially to farmers, observers say. The plan would be backed by experts and a $5 million grant from the state. While corn accounts for the majority of homegrown ethanol, demand for other feedstocks such as energy beets is on the rise because of the requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard, said Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis at the Renewable Fuels Association.

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