Between 2021 and 2022, fertilizer prices rose by more than 100%. For growers in California, those sky-rocketing costs can make the difference between a profitable year and a costly harvest.

There’s good news, though! Domestic fertilizer production is about to go up, thanks to the USDA’s ongoing partnerships with American businesses.

Last September, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the creation of the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program. Flush with $500 million in funding, the program aimed to increase the production of fertilizer made in America. Nearly one year later, the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program is still going strong, with additional funds being made available to businesses looking to increase their own fertilizer production on American soil. If all goes according to plan, agricultural markets will continue seeing greater competition on a domestic level, which will help combat price hikes caused by global concerns like the war in Ukraine, high energy costs, and a limited supply of fertilizer materials.

“The rise in fertilizer costs highlights the importance of investing in robust domestic ag supply chains,” Tom Vilsack announced via Twitter on June 23rd. “Today, we’re making available additional funding through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program to expand the manufacturing and processing of fertilizer in the U.S.”

What does this mean for growers? According to the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program’s website, “grant funds must be used for the purpose of increasing or otherwise expanding the manufacturing and processing of fertilizer and nutrient alternatives and their availability in the United States.” That means that any grower looking to engage in fertilizer production — including activities like purchasing or constructing a new facility for fertilizer production, customizing one’s equipment to increase worker safety, and installing climate-smart equipment that reduces greenhouse gas emissions while improving air/water quality — is welcome to apply.

The maximum grant award is $100 million, while the minus is $1 million. Grants will be awarded over a five-year term, and all applicants must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM). Although the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program’s website hasn’t updated its application timeline since the initial application window in late 2022, information about the program’s goals and guidelines can be found here.

Remember: fertilizer is the secret ingredient to great yields all over the world, and Fruit Growers Supply specializes in multiple types of organic, synthetic, granular, liquid, composted, and powered fertilizers. If you have questions about which type of fertilizer is right for you, please stop by one of our full-service supply centers today or contact us here.

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