High fertilizer costs continue to plague the budgets of farmers across the United States. USDA announced on Tuesday that they’re making $500 million in grants available to help increase American-made fertilizer production.
“We want it, first and foremost, to be utilized by independent operations,” explains Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Those are outside the dominant fertilizer companies, so that creates competition and an opportunity for new players if you will. We want it to be focused on made in America. We want to invest in innovation. We want to make sure that whatever is going into the development as fertilizer is produced sustainably, in terms of the production process or the transportation process, or the feedstock that is used. And we hope that it’s farm focused.”
Vilsack says they’re essentially going to have two grant application processes.
“The awards under this program can be anywhere from a million dollars up to $100 million. They can span projects that will take the next three-to-five years. The first application window after it’s filed will be a 45-day application window, and that application window will be for applications designed to make the case they are ready, willing, and able, with additional resources, to provide assistance and relief to farmers in terms of access to fertilizer in crop year 2023 and crop year 2024.”
The second application window will be 90 days and designed for projects that will take longer to complete. He says the funding is available for a wide variety of groups and organizations.
“Who can apply? Well, it’s pretty broad. For-profit companies can apply, nonprofits can apply, tribes and tribal organizations can apply, producer-owned co-ops can apply, and certified benefit corporations and state and local government agencies can apply. Information about the grants will be on the website at www.grants.gov.”
Source: NAFB News Service