USDA Launches $500 Million Grant Programs for Domestic Fertilizer Production as American Farmers Struggle to Make Ends Meet

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now offering $500 million in grants to encourage and bolster domestic fertilizer production to spur competition in order to combat massive price increases over the course of the last year.

Farmers around America and the globe have been dealing with skyrocketing fertilizer prices for most of the last year. What’s even worse, even though prices have came down a tad bit during the summer, is that they’re forcing costs will surge yet again this fall.

Much of his has to do with the fact that Russia and the Ukraine produce more than 25% of the world’s fertilizer, and they’re at war. This is compounding the already massive concerns and anxieties American farmers are having about potential farm incomes in 2023.

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The USDA’s $500 million grant program is called the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program.

It’s the continuation of a program that the department established back in March when it made available $250 million to finance more domestic fertilizer production.

The USDA says the funds will be drawn from the Commodity Credit Corporation, a government owned corporation (that should scare you) deigned to help stabilize agricultural prices and support farmers’ incomes, in order to develop a grant program that would provide “gap financing” to help bring new domestic fertilizer production and companies to the market.

America is currently one of the top three importers of fertilizer or components of fertilizer in the world. The others are Russia, Morocco, China, and Canada.

The supply chain issue of last year are yet another reason the USDA is pushing this up to $500 million in grants, hoping to elevate production and stop the bleeding.

According to the White House and the USDA, the grant money from the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program will support independent, innovative, sustainable and farmer-focused domestic fertilizer production meant to supply American farmers with cheap fertilizer.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack himself said that the department’s bigger goal is to help create “a resilient, secure and sustainable economy, and this support to provide domestic, independent choices for fertilizer supplies is part of that effort.”

“Recent supply chain disruptions have shown just how critical it is to invest in the agricultural supply chain here at home,” he added.

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The maximum grant amount that can be doled out is $100 million. The minimum is $1 million. Each grant has a term of five years.

The Fertilizer Institute President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch praised the program, saying that “anything that helps strengthen domestic fertilizer production is a win for the industry, growers and consumers.”

Unfortunately, this program comes far too late to help farmers deal with prices at the moment. In Missouri, farmers are currently paying an average of $1,325 for a ton of nitrogen fertilizer. In Iowa, farmers are paying more than $1,400 per ton.

Rosenbusch himself noted that if the administration of President Joe Biden really wanted to help boost domestic fertilizer production, it would require billions of dollars. One nitrogen fertilizer plant, he noted, can cost between $2 to $4 billion to construct.

Learn more news about fertilizer production and prices at

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