USDA allocates $83 Million to enhance fertilizer production in Iowa, Minnesota and North Dakota

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced nearly $83 million in funding for fertilizer plant projects in 12 states, including key investments in Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota. This move, part of the Fertilizer Production and Expansion Program (FPEP), is designed to enhance the United States’ domestic fertilizer supply and provide economic relief to farmers facing high fertilizer costs.

Initiated under the Biden administration, the FPEP is a response to the sharp increase in fertilizer prices that began in 2021, largely attributed to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and a lack of competition in the industry. To date, the program has allocated $251 million across 57 projects in 29 states, funded through the Commodity Credit Corporation with a commitment of up to $900 million.

In Iowa, Return LLC will utilize a $3.92 million grant to expand its Northwood facility. The project includes upgrading the composting and fermenting site and acquiring new equipment for material transport and production. Return LLC is known for its sustainable products derived from locally-sourced turkey litter and its unique offerings such as potting mixes and “Worm Poop” fertilizers.

Minnesota’s contribution to the initiative will be led by Sustane Natural Fertilizer Inc., which has been awarded $2,397,792 to enhance and expand its Cannon Falls production facility. This family-owned business is set to increase its output of natural fertilizers used in both agricultural and home gardening.

North Dakota will see a significant expansion at the Ray Farmers Union Elevator Company, thanks to a $1,491,859 grant. The project will boost the company’s dry fertilizer capacity by over 60%, enhancing the service capability to local farmers in several counties and improving the logistics of fertilizer supply in the region.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted the strategic importance of these investments, stating, “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. The investments announced today will increase domestic fertilizer production and strengthen our supply chain, all while creating good-paying jobs that will benefit everyone.”

This funding is a critical part of the USDA’s ongoing efforts to support a robust agricultural sector and mitigate the economic challenges posed by global events and market dynamics.

Source: Detroit Lakes Tribune

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