TFI says more domestic fertilizer production needed

The head of The Fertilizer Institute says improving domestic production would help diversify fertilizer supply in the U.S.

Corey Rosenbusch says supply chain disruptions last year shined a light on the issue. “We’ve learned how dependent the U.S. farmer and the U.S. fertilizer industry is on foreign supply,” he said. “We are a net importer of fertilizer. We only produce 7% of total global supply.”

In September, the USDA announced $500 million in grant funding through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program for domestic fertilizer production.

Speaking to Brownfield at the Commodity Classic, he said some challenges have delayed critical projects, including phosphate and potash mining.

“What would help is removing some of the difficult regulations that remove the certainty around risk for fertilizer companies to invest in expanded production capacity.”

Rosenbusch says a nitrogen plant can cost between $2-to-$4 billion to construct, but anything that helps expand production is a win for the industry.

“We know we need imports and so we need to make sure farmers have access to supply,” he said, “but at the same time, what can we do to bolster U.S. fertilizer production?”

He says the global population depends on responsible ag practices to provide a steady supply of food.

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