WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced last week that it will support additional fertilizer production for American farmers to address rising costs and spur competition.
The USDA will make available $250 million through a new grant program this summer that supports independent, innovative and sustainable American fertilizer production to supply American farmers. Additionally, to address growing competition concerns in the agricultural supply chain, USDA will launch a public inquiry seeking information regarding seeds and agricultural inputs, fertilizer and retail markets.
Fertilizer prices continue to be on the rise and have more than doubled in the past year due to many factors, including the war in Ukraine, a limited supply of the relevant minerals and high energy costs, high global demand and agricultural commodity prices, reliance on fertilizer imports and lack of competition in the industry.
The United States is a major importer and is largely dependent on foreign fertilizer. The US is the second or third top importer for each of the three major components of fertilizer. The top producers of the major components of fertilizer include China, Russia, Canada and Morocco, with Belarus also providing a significant share of potash.
The USDA will use funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) set aside in September for market disruptions to develop a grant program that provides financing to bring new, independent domestic production capacity on-line – similar to the recently announced meat and poultry grants that are designed to promote competition and resilience in that sector.
The new program will support fertilizer production that is independent, made in America, innovative, sustainable and farmer focused. Details on the application process will be announced this summer, with the first awards expected before the end of 2022.
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