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USDA invests in domestic fertilizer projects

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

On May 23, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the agency will invest in 17 domestic fertilizer projects through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP) in an effort to strengthen competition for U.S. ag producers. 

“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,” Vilsack states. 

“The investments announced today, made possible through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), will increase domestic fertilizer production and strengthen our supply chain, all while creating 

good-paying jobs which will benefit everyone,” he continues.

The FPEP

American agriculture producers have faced increasing issues stemming from rising fertilizer prices, which more than doubled between 2021-22 due to the war in the Ukraine and a lack of competition in the fertilizer industry, among other factors. 

To combat these issues, President Joe Biden and USDA created FPEP, promising up to $900 million through the CCC for the program. 

USDA explains FPEP provides grants to business owners to help modernize equipment, adopt new technologies and build production plants, among other things, which will ultimately help strengthen supply chains, create new economic opportunities and support climate-smart innovation. 

The department also notes FPEP is part of a broader effort to help producers boost production and therefore, help with global food insecurity. 

“It is also one of the many ways the administration is promoting fair competition, innovation and resiliency across food and agriculture, all while combating climate crisis,” USDA states. 

FPEP projects

Today, USDA and the administration have invested $251 million in 57 projects across 29 states through FPEP, and the agency’s recent efforts will award $83 million to 12 states including California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington. 

USDA notes the funding will help facilities in these states increase their domestic fertilizer production, strengthen competition and lower costs for producers. 

For example, USDA explains 4420 Serrano Drive, LLC of California will use its $25 million grant to build and equip a food waste upcycling facility in Jurupa Valley, Calif. which uses insects to recycle food waste into organic nutrient fertilizer. 

“Through this funding, the facility is expected to produce 11,400 tons annually, which will provide domestic fertilizer for approximately 90 producers in the region,” USDA explains. 

In Florida, Cog Marketers Ltd. will use a $4 million grant to build and equip a manufacturing facility in Lake City, Fla., which is expected to produce two million gallons of fertilizer annually and provide domestic fertilizer to more than 200 independent retailers. 

Closer to home, the Mid-Kansas Cooperative Association, a farmer-owned cooperative with 11,000 members and 600 employees in Canton, Kan., will use a $2.38 million grant to construct a new state-of-the-art facility, supporting production of 3,000 tons of liquid fertilizer a year for 250 local producers. 

Additionally, Ray Farmers Union Elevator Company of Ray, N.D. will use a $1.49 million grant to increase dry fertilizer capacity by 7,025 tons to a total of 11,425 tons, which will benefit new and existing customers and improve fertilizer supply logistics. 

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to roundup@wylr.net. 

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