GENERIC: Ethanol, Corn

GARNETT, KS (KCTV) -- President Donald Trump has thrilled corn farmers with the news that consumers can buy E-15 gasoline, or gasoline with 15% ethanol all year long.

While the announcement may have farmers pleased, we wanted to know how big of a benefit it is to drivers. So, KCTV5 News spoke to mechanics and farmers about the impact.

Planted between corn fields, East Kansas Agri-Energy produces ethanol. It’s just right down the road from Glenn Caldwell’s farm.

Caldwell said the Trump administration giving E-15 gasoline the green light to be sold all year comes as a relief.

“Anything we can do to produce more ethanol will make it easier for us to sell our corn,” he said.

Caldwell sells his corn to Bill Pracht.

As the president and CEO of East Kansas Agri-Energy, Pracht sees firsthand how small changes make a difference.

“It would be better if we had a higher octane than E-15, but we are tickled to death to have E-15,” Caldwell said.

However, consumers we talked to are thinking before they put it in their tank. “It might have a higher moisture content,” one person said. “I think my truck needs to be a little newer for that,” another said.

Their concerns are valid; E-15 does have a higher moisture content and you need a newer model vehicle.

It’s easy to find out if your car is compatible, though. All you have to do is open up the gas cap and read what it says. It might say it takes “E-0 to E-15,” or it could say it takes up to E-85.

If you put E-15 gasoline into a car that is older and not compatible, you won’t see problems right away.

“You’re not going to see a whole lot of difference,” said Dan Blurton, Auto Program Coordinator. “It’s not going to be something that effects your car immediately. It’s going to be something over time.”

Mechanics could ultimately have to fix your vehicle for a fuel pump breakdown and/or rust. Fuel pumps are not a cheap fix.

While corn farmers are excited the change, this is only a small kernel of new revenue because only a fraction of their crops are used to produce ethanol.

“It should help maintain the grain prices and give me a chance to continue doing what I love doing, which is farming and producing the grain for them,” Caldwell said.

That very grain that is bought by the plant down the road and then sold to drivers across the United States.

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