OLYMPIA, Wash., March 10, 2023 –Perfect Blend LCC, a Washington State fertilizer company producing in Othello, Adams County, was one of only eight fertilizer companies nationally in this first round to receive grant offers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA’s) Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FREP), a new program that supports fertilizer production that is independent, made-in-America, innovative, sustainable and farmer-focused.
“Today’s announcement is great news!” said Helen Price Johnson, State Director for USDA Rural Development in Washington. “We saw how vulnerable our food supply chain was during the pandemic. The Biden Administration created this grant program to help address this problem. This is a significant investment to expand locally produced fertilizer in Washington State which, in turn, helps our local agricultural producers.
“Congratulations to Perfect Blend, LLC for rising to the top in this national competition,” she added.
The program is part of a government-wide effort to promote competition in agricultural markets. These investments help independent businesses increase production of American-made fertilizer, spur competition, and give U.S. farmers more choices and fairer prices. Critically, this also reduces the country’s dependence on unreliable foreign suppliers from places like Russia and Belarus.
USDA began accepting applications for FPEP in September 2022, ultimately receiving applications from more than 350 independent businesses from 47 states and 2 territories for the first two rounds of a new grant program to add innovative domestic fertilizer production capacity. The $29 million announced today will be offered to eight independent businesses in Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio and Washington.
In Washington State, Perfect Blend LLC is being offered a $2.6 million grant to assist with expanding and increasing its ability to manufacture and process raw manure and fish waste into fertilizer by using its patented technology. This project will replace a stainless-steel dryer drum and construct a liquid fertilizer blending station and storage area on its facility.
“I know that increased costs for fertilizer and other inputs have put a strain on farmers and cut into the bottom line. The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA understand the importance of taking on the root causes and need to invest in the agricultural supply chain here at home to create a resilient, secure and sustainable economy for the long haul,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “By expanding the production of domestic fertilizer supplies, we can grow independent local businesses, bring production and jobs to rural communities and support fair prices for our farmers.”
A full list of offers announced today is available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/media/file/download/usda-rd-nr-fpep-chart03092023.pdf
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.
Fertilizer prices more than doubled between 2021 and 2022 due to many factors, including price hikes caused by 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.
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.
It is one of many ways the Biden-Harris Administration’s 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.
For more information about USDA Rural Development programs and services, visit www.rd.usda.gov.