$9.4 million awarded in Wisconsin to increase independent, domestic fertilizer production
WASHINGTON, June 23, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is partnering with American businesses as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to increase innovative domestic fertilizer production, creating jobs in rural communities and providing more options to U.S. farmers.
“The rapid increase in the cost of critical inputs like fertilizer is only the latest example of why we must invest in strong, domestic agricultural supply chains,” Vilsack said. “The Fertilizer Production Expansion Program not only increases fertilizer production and improves competition, but also creates new opportunities for American businesses and is one of the many ways that the Biden-Harris Administration is making long-term investments to strengthen our supply chains.”
In 2022, USDA made $500 million available under the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP) to spur domestic competition and combat rising fertilizer costs caused by the war in Ukraine. The Department received applications from more than 350 businesses seeking to increase fertilizer production.
Round One Awards in Wisconsin
Today, the Department is awarding $30 million in grants through seven awards under round one of the program to help U.S. farmers in Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Texas and Wisconsin increase independent, domestic fertilizer production.
The grants will create a competitive, resilient, and sustainable economy that will support opportunities for local businesses and people across the nation.
- Black’s Valley Ag Supply Inc. will use a $4,919,743 Fertilizer Production Expansion Program Grant to help offset the costs associated with construction of a new dry fertilizer production and storage facility in Durand. When the new facility is operational, Black's Valley expects to help increase fertilizer production by 33 percent per year.
- The Delong Co., Inc. will use a $4,563,744 Fertilizer Production Expansion Program grant to replace an existing fertilizer facility with a modern facility. This new facility will have more than four times the volume processing capabilities, the ability to custom blend fertilizer blends by the field and produce positive environmental impacts for all stakeholders.
“Having grown up on a small family farm, I know how tight budgets can be,” said Wisconsin State Director Julie Lassa. “The investments being made through FPEP will benefit farmers by creating more marketplace competition and fertilizer options while also expanding and modernizing fertilizer production capacities here at home.” [Audio]
Fertilizer prices more than doubled between 2021 and 2022 due to many factors. These factors include: the war in Ukraine, a limited supply of the relevant minerals, high energy costs, high global demand and agricultural commodity prices, reliance on imports, and a lack of competition in the fertilizer industry.
To combat these issues, USDA began accepting FPEP applications in September 2022. The Department initially announced plans to make $250 million in grants available, but quickly doubled the available funding to $500 million to address rising costs and spur competition. USDA is now adding up to an additional $400 million.
The Department received requests for $3 billion in applications from more than 350 businesses for the first two rounds of the program. The businesses were located in 47 states and two territories.
In January 2023, USDA released a list of 21 potentially viable projects for the first round of funding with a request for public comment. The first round focused on projects that will increase fertilizer capacity for the 2023 or 2024 crop years, to prioritize projects with near-term impact.
In March 2023, Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA offered a total of $29 million to eight businesses in Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio and Washington. The grants will help the businesses modernize equipment, advance climate-smart practices and build production plants, among other activities.
FPEP is part of a broader effort to help producers boost production and address global food insecurity. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/fpep or https://www.farmers.gov/global-food-insecurity.
FPEP is one of many ways the Biden-Harris Administration is promoting fair competition, innovation and resiliency across food and agriculture and combating the climate crisis by conserving and protecting our nation’s lands, biodiversity and natural resources, including our soil, air and water.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.