The U.S. Department of Agriculture is looking at expansion for fertilizer while agriculture groups also call for reevaluation on fertilizer duties.

The USDA announced $52.6 million in awards to fund 17 new projects in the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program. One of those project investments will go to assist an organic fertilizer producer in rural Boardman, Oregon. The expansion will increase availability and sustainability of organic fertilizer for pacific northwest producers. True Organic Products Inc. will use funds from this grant for construction, equipment, site work, architectural, and engineering fees. The recipient of this grant will contribute $3,333,333 towards this project.

Half a billion dollars was invested in grants for fertilizer expansion in 2022. This investment was to support independent and outside the orbit of dominant fertilizer suppliers, made in America, innovative, sustainable, and farmer-focused fertilizer production. Because of the popularity in the program funding was expanded early in the summer of 2023, adding $900 million of funding.

While these expansions in the U.S. are being invested in, a letter was sent to the Commerce Secretary asking to consider the difficulties farmers are facing in the phosphate fertilizer as the secretary recalculates duties on phosphate fertilizer from Morocco. The National Corn Growers and 62 other agriculture groups sent the letter saying, "America’s farmers and ranchers have been saddled with rising input costs, especially over the last three years. Compounding international challenges have resulted in supply chain shortages, disrupted trade routes, and lack of available raw materials which have collectively upended the fertilizer market. With increasingly limited options of fertilizer sources, farmers have struggled to diversify their supply chains, exposing them to risk."

The letter goes on to say that the duties on phosphate imports combined with other factors have led to substantial price volatility over the past three years as prices increased 230% from 2020 to 2022.

A determination will be announced in mid-December.

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