Imperial County, in California will vote this week to the possibility of cultivating sugarcane for ethanol production.
The county board will meet with the residents to put the project in voting order. The board’s proposal is to use about ten percent of county land to plant sugarcane for this purpose. Therefore, it is expected to have great impact on the agricultural community, since the intention is to grow about 70 hectares of sugarcane. The County covers an area of 11,608 km ² with a population of just over 174,000 inhabitants.
Ray Castillo, president of the municipal board, announced to the local media that he believes the region may become the largest producer of sugarcane ethanol in West Coast, if the proposal is approved.
According to information from the USDA – Department of Agriculture of the United States, there are few units producing ethanol from sugarcane in the United States, where nearly 97% of the ethanol is produced from corn.
The State of California is considered by many as the most promising for planting sugarcane in the United States.
A group called the California Ethanol & Power, in 2007, had previously demonstrated the same intent in the region of Imperial County. So much that the region is already home to some ethanol plants installed at that time. It is not known however, whether the cane planted now, will be crushed on those distilleries, or other units will be built for this purpose.