The Environmental Protection Agency could raise the ethanol blend in motor fuel to 15 percent for at least some vehicles as soon as early-to-mid October, according to a report by The prediction was made by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“I expect that they will see that E15 is an appropriate fuel for some vehicles,” he said during a press conference last week, as reported by Reuters.

This would be a victory for ethanol companies and a blow to the poultry and livestock producers who have lobbied for EPA to do more research before allowing the increase. They fear that approval of a 15 percent ethanol blend rate will add further upward pressure to corn prices which are already trading at two-year highs.

IF EPA does approve the 15 percent blend, E15 should be available within a few months, a spokesman for Growth Energy said, according to the National Chicken Council’s Washington Report. 

Ethanol fuel is currently blended using 10 percent ethanol, and the increase would place a greater demand on the U.S. corn supply.

Reacting to a recent USDA report that corn yields this year are looking lower than early expected, corn futures prices hit a two-year high of over $5 per bushel last week on the Chicago Board of Trade.