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USDA targets increasing domestic fertilizer production

Department is awarding $30 million in grants to increase innovative domestic fertilizer production in U.S.

On June 23, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the USDA is investing an additional $400 million to increase innovative domestic fertilizer production in the U.S.

“The rapid increase in the cost of critical inputs like fertilizer is only the latest example of why we must invest in strong, domestic agricultural supply chains,” Vilsack said. “The Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP) not only increases fertilizer production and improves competition, but also creates new opportunities for American businesses and is one of the many ways that the Biden-Harris Administration is making long-term investments to strengthen our supply chains.” 

In 2022, USDA made $500 million available under FPEP to spur domestic competition and combat rising fertilizer costs caused by the war in Ukraine. The USDA received applications from more than 350 businesses seeking to increase fertilizer production.

Vilsack said due to the strong demand for funding, the Commodity Credit Corporation is providing up to $400 million in additional FPEP funding to finance even more projects.

USDA is also awarding $30 million in grants through seven awards under round one of the program to help U.S. producers in Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Texas and Wisconsin increase independent, domestic fertilizer production.

Some examples include:

  • Black's Valley Ag Supply Inc. will build a new dry fertilizer production and storage facility in Durand, Wisconsin. The production plant expects to increase fertilizer production by 33% per year.
  • Farmer’s Union Oil Company will expand a fertilizer processing facility in rural Montana. This project will create a local and affordable fertilizer option for agricultural producers in a four-county region while saving and creating several local jobs.
  • Progressive Ag Cooperative will construct a dry fertilizer facility that will serve cooperative members from northern Iowa and southern Minnesota.

In January 2023, USDA released a list of 21 potentially viable projects that would increase fertilizer capacity for the 2023 or 2024 crop years.

In March 2023, Vilsack announced the USDA offered a total of $29 million to eight businesses in Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio and Washington. The grants will help the businesses modernize equipment, advance climate-smart practices and build production plants, among other activities.

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