$500 million grant program to increase U.S. fertilizer production 

U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says a $500 million grant program to increase U.S. fertilizer production will ultimately benefit American farmers.  

“This announcement is designed to increase capacity, increase the amount of fertilizer that’s being produced, and the ingredients for fertilizer being produced in the United States,” he says. “It would make us less reliant on sources from Russia, for example. In doing so the goal is to create a more competitive market which should result in more supply and lower costs for farmers.”

He says the USDA is hopeful applications will come from independent suppliers and not the dominant fertilizer companies.  

“We want them to be farmer-focused, we want them to spur innovation, we want the inputs for whatever is produced to be sustainably produced, and we want to make sure it’s made in America,” he says.

Grants ranging from $1 million to $100 will be awarded. The USDA will begin accepting applications in the coming days here.

Speaking during the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) annual meeting, Vilsack said eligible entities include for‐profit companies, not-for profit organizations, farmer-owned cooperatives, state and local governments, tribes and tribal organizations, as well as certified benefit corporations. Private entities must be independently owned and operated to apply.

There will be two opportunities to apply. A 45-day application window will be available for applicants to receive priority for projects that expand the capacity of fertilizer for crop years 2023 or 2024. An extended 90-day window will be available for applications that seek to have resources for longer-term projects.

The USDA is hosting two informational webinars for potential applicants and interested parties on October 4 and October 6. Pre-registration is required here and here.

The Biden Administration’s Fertilizer Production Expansion Program is part of a whole-of-government effort to promote competition in ag markets. The USDA will use funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation.  

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