WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Biden-Harris Administration is inviting U.S. farmers and agricultural producers to apply for grants under the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program. The Administration recently announced it is making $500 million in grants available through the program to increase American-made fertilizer production, spur competition and combat price hikes on U.S. farmers caused by the war in Ukraine.
“The Fertilizer Production Expansion Program is one of many ways the Biden-Harris Administration invests in the agricultural supply chain right here at home,” Vilsack said. “This funding will bring production and jobs back to the United States, promote competition and support American goods and services. Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA continues to create a resilient, secure and sustainable economy to support opportunities for local businesses and people across this nation. This program is a critical part of that effort.”
USDA is accepting applications via www.grants.gov. Applicants have two opportunities to submit their applications:
- Applicants may apply until Nov. 14, 2022, to receive priority for projects that increase the availability of fertilizer (nitrogen, phosphate or potash) and nutrient alternatives for agricultural producers to use in crop years 2023 or 2024.
- Applicants may apply until Dec. 29, 2022, to receive financial assistance to significantly increase American-made fertilizer production to spur competition and combat price hikes. This application window supports applicants who need more time to make additional capacity available.
Eligible entities are for‐profit businesses and corporations, nonprofit entities, Tribes and Tribal organizations, producer‐owned cooperatives and corporations, certified benefit corporations, and state or local governments. Private entities must be independently owned and operated to apply.
The maximum award is $100 million. The minimum award is $1 million. The grant term is five years.
Fertilizer prices have more than doubled since last year 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 fertilizer imports, and a lack of competition in the fertilizer industry.
The Fertilizer Production Expansion Program is part of a whole-of-government effort to promote competition in agricultural markets. The funds are being made available through the Commodity Credit Corporation.
Grants will be used to support independent, innovative and sustainable American fertilizer production to supply American farmers. Funds also will expand the manufacturing and processing of fertilizer and nutrient alternatives in the U.S. and its territories.
The program will support fertilizer production that is:
- Independent, and outside the orbit of dominant fertilizer suppliers. Because the program’s goal is to increase competition, market share restrictions apply.
- Made in America. Products must be produced by companies operating in the U.S. or its territories, to create good-paying jobs at home, and reduce the reliance on potentially unstable, inconsistent foreign supplies.
- Innovative. Techniques will improve fertilizer production methods and efficient-use technologies to jumpstart the next generation of fertilizers and nutrient alternatives.
- Sustainable. Ideally, products will reduce the greenhouse gas impact of transportation, production and use through renewable energy sources, feedstocks and formulations, incentivizing greater precision in fertilizer use.
- Farmer-focused. Like other Commodity Credit Corporation investments, a driving factor is providing support and opportunities for U.S. agricultural commodity producers.
The Department is hosting two informational webinars:
- Potential applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to attend a webinar on Oct. 4, 2022, to learn more about the program. Pre-registration is required. To register, visit: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_dTRONOeRRVu2aTEvGjwx6A.
- Potential applicants and other stakeholders are also encouraged to attend a webinar on Oct. 6, 2022, to learn about application requirements. Pre-registration is required. To register, visit: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_dUsGJWFZQtGuh_BWcC7EZQ.
These grants are part of a broader effort to help producers boost production and address global food insecurity.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is also improving opportunities for nutrient management. This includes targeting funding, increasing program flexibilities, launching a new outreach campaign to promote nutrient management’s economic benefits, and expanding partnerships to develop nutrient management plans. Meanwhile, USDA’s Risk Management Agency expanded crop insurance options for double cropping to reduce risk for producers raising two crops in the same year.
USDA is engaged in a whole-of-government effort to combat the climate crisis and conserve and protect our nation’s lands, biodiversity and natural resources, including our soil, air and water. Successfully meeting these challenges will require coordination and partnerships with stakeholders throughout the supply chain, such as the planned investment in innovative domestic fertilizer production. This effort is also part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to promote competition, including in agricultural markets.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under 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 Rural Development