Source: USDA news release

CASCO, Wis – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is investing in domestic fertilizer projects to strengthen competition for U.S. farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers.

This funding advances President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to grow the nation’s economy from the middle out and bottom up. It will create jobs and spur economic growth in rural communities by increasing competition in agricultural markets. Through these projects, President Biden is delivering on promises he made two years ago when he visited rural Illinois to announce the doubling of funding available through the Fertilizer Production and Expansion Program (FPEP).

“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,” Secretary Vilsack said. “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.”

The Department is awarding $83 million in 12 states for projects through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP). This program provides grants to independent business owners to help them modernize equipment, adopt new technologies, build production plants and more.

These investments will boost domestic fertilizer production, strengthen competition and lower costs for U.S. farmers. The projects will also help U.S. farmers increase independent, domestic fertilizer production. For example:

· 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. 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.

· 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 annually, 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. This investment will improve existing infrastructure and purchase equipment for manufacturing and transporting materials. The funding will help accelerate growth in domestic fertilizer production and provide support to farmers and their communities.

USDA is making awards to facilities in California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington.

To date, USDA has invested $251 million in 57 projects across 29 states through FPEP.

President Biden and USDA created FPEP to combat issues facing American farmers due to rising fertilizer prices, which more than doubled between 2021 and 2022 due to a variety of factors such as war in Ukraine and a lack of competition in the fertilizer industry. The Administration committed up to $900 million through the Commodity Credit Corporation for FPEP. Funding supports long-term investments that will strengthen supply chains, create new economic opportunities for American businesses, and support climate-smart innovation.

FPEP is part of a broader effort to help producers boost production and address global food insecurity. It is also one of many ways the Administration is promoting fair competition, innovation and resiliency across food and agriculture while combating the climate crisis.