May 23, 2024

USDA investing $83M to help boost domestic fertilizer production

The USDA is investing $83 million in 12 states in domestic fertilizer projects designed to strengthen competition and lower costs for U.S. farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers.

The funds are available through the Fertilizer Product Expansion Program, which aims to help recipients increase or expand the manufacturing and processing of fertilizer and nutrient alternatives. Two application periods were held in late 2022.

The grants are being provided to independent business owners to modernize equipment, adopt new technologies, build production plants or otherwise grow operations, according to a news release.

Facilities in California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington received awards.

Examples of the funding uses include:

  • In California, 4420 Serrano Drive LLC will use a $25 million grant to build and equip a food waste upcycling facility in Jurupa Valley. The facility uses insects to recycle food waste into an organic nutrient fertilizer. With the funding, the facility is expected to produce 11,400 tons annually, which will provide fertilizer for approximately 90 regional producers.
  • In Florida, Cog Marketers Ltd., which also does business as AgroLiquid, will use a $4 million grant to build and equip a manufacturing facility in Lake City. The facility is expected to produce 2 million gallons of fertilizer components each year, which will provide domestic fertilizer to more than 200 independent retailers in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.
  • In Iowa, Return LLC will use $4 million to expand its current facility in Northwood, improving infrastructure and purchasing equipment for manufacturing and transporting materials.

“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are committed to bolstering the economy and increasing competition for our nation’s farmers, ranchers and small business owners,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in the release. “The investments announced today, made possible through the Commodity Credit Corporation, will increase domestic fertilizer production and strengthen our supply chain, all while creating good-paying jobs that will benefit everyone.”

To date, USDA has invested $251 million in 57 projects across 29 states through the fertilizer program, according to the release.

Fertilizer prices more than doubled between 2021 and 2022 because of factors including the war in Ukraine and a lack of industry competition, according to USDA. The Biden Administration committed up to $900 million for the program through the Commodity Credit Corp., created in 1993 to help implement programs established by Congress.

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