Yesterday, the Michigan Senate voted 34-2 to start a pilot program to explore mixing salt with sugar beet juice to throw down on icy roads during winter. According to, Sen. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville, says sugar beet juice mixed with road salt sticks to the road, is less corrosive and melts ice at lower temperatures than salt.

Michigan harvests around 5 million tons of sugar beets every year. If this takes off, we'll need more - and maybe other states will jump on the bandwagon, which would be great for Michigan farmers.

There are some lawmakers who aren't sold, yet. One of the two lawmakers who voted against it is Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington. He said he’s concerned sugar beet juice could impact Michigan streams and rivers, saying, “I want to make sure that any decision that we make doesn’t have a long-term effect on the environment.”

Also of concern, reports say our friends to the north, in some boroughs of Montreal, tried sugar beet juice on their roads, "but switched to using corn product instead because the beet juice was too stinky".

So there's that. Here's the story.

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