7-23-06 – Demand for clear-burning fuel and the push for less reliance on fossil fuels may benefit area farmers. Two major grocery store chains have announced plans to sell corn-based ethanol at their gas stations.
Local farmers say drought conditions have slowed production in other areas, but the demand for corn could give them a much needed boost. Corn crop makes up about a quarter of the farmable land in Fannin, Cooke, Grayson, and Lamar counties.
Kroger and H-E-B stores are planning to sell a corn-based ethanol fuel. Wal-Mart is also considering the idea.
Most cars run on e-10, a blend of 10% ethanol mixed with gasoline. Kroger and H-E-B want to sell e-85, an 85% ethanol mix that is considered a cleaner burning fuel to be used in fuel-flexible vehicles.
The clean-burning movement has already made its way to Durant, where Earth Biofuels produces a vegetable-based diesel fuel. In Paris, Texas, a group of farmers is considering setting up a corn-based ethanol plant.
H-E-B gas stations in central Texas will carry the ethanol-blend fuel by the end of August. Kroger’s sales will kick off at their pumps in Dallas and Houston.