DECEMBER 2018 SEEDWORLD.COM / 19 To provide some perspective: this would about be the equivalent of needing to add another Illinois-sized corn crop each year. Tyner says since ethanol uses standard corn, no changes in seed type needs are expected. He also expects the increased demand to slowly be seen if stations start adding more E15 pumps. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement that expand- ing the sale of E15 for the entire year will give consumers another choice at the pump and increase demand for corn. Perdue says he looks forward to work- ing with the EPA to see rulemaking and year-round E15 completed by the driving season of 2019. Factors At Play Gas station’s ability to convert and add E15 pumps, vehicle warranties and fuel prices all factor into how fast farmers, and seed companies, see that boost in demand for corn. Purdue University agricultural econo- mist Wally Tyner says it’s hard to know how quickly stations will add E15 tanks. light-duty vehicles of the model year 2001 or newer, as well as all flex-fuel vehicles. RFA says this represents more than 75 percent of the U.S. vehicle fleet. A recent announcement by automakers says 93 percent of 2019 model year vehicles are approved by the manufacturers to use E15 blends. The 2018 number was 89 percent. Finally, Tyner says E15 has to be at least 5 cents cheaper at the pump to break even with the lower mileage from E15. Ethanol has two-thirds the energy of gasoline, so using 5 percent more etha- nol means the blend has less energy and lower mileage, he explains. E15 typically sells for 5 to 10 cents per gallon less than E10. SW “The majors will not adopt E15 in most places,” Tyner says. “Independents, especially in the Midwest, will convert some pumps. However, it will be costly to convert.” Furthermore, not all cars are warran- tied to run on E15 fuel, according to Tyner. The RFA says the warranty issue is a com- plicated one. Since E15 wasn’t approved by the EPA when vehicle owner’s manu- als were written, it wasn’t included. New owner’s manuals will likely include guid- ance on the use of E15, but that leaves owners of older cars unsure about using E15. RFA says vehicle manufacturers likely will not deny a warranty claim based on a different fuel. E15 is approved by the EPA for use in “Over time, E15 could add nearly 7 billion gallons of new ethonal demand, which would use 2 billion bushels of additional corn per year.” — Monte Shaw