First Round of Awards Announced to Increase Fertilizer Production

Brian German Agri-Business, Funding

More than $3 billion in applications were submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as part of the effort to increase domestic fertilizer production. The first round of awards through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP) have been announced, totaling $29 million in grant offers. Applications for the first two rounds of the new program were submitted from more than 350 independent businesses. The first round of awards prioritizes projects that can have a more immediate impact.

Fertilizer Production

“I know that increased costs for fertilizer and other inputs have put a strain on farmers and cut into the bottom line,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. “The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA understand the importance of taking on the root causes and need to invest in the agricultural supply chain here at home to create a resilient, secure and sustainable economy for the long haul.”

Potentially viable projects for the first round of the program were announced back in January. They are meant to improve fertilizer capacity for the 2023 and 2024 crop years. Applications were received seeking funding support for projects between $1 million and $100 million. The funding announcement of $29 million will be offered to eight independent businesses in six states. Funding will be used to modernize equipment, develop new production plants, among other activities.

The award announcement was made during the 2023 Commodity Classic. Details regarding the second round of awards will be released, pending review of the applications. By expanding fertilizer production in the U.S., the aim is to address a variety of issues along with helping to mitigate rising input costs. “We can grow independent local businesses, bring production and jobs to rural communities and support fair prices for our farmers,” Vilsack noted.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West