Commissioner Fried Shares Fertilizer Production Concerns with USDA

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Legislative, USDA

In response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcing plans for a $250 million investment to support additional domestic fertilizer production for American farmers facing rapidly rising prices, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried offered the following statement:

“Florida farmers help feed families across our state, nation, and world, even in the face of unprecedented challenges in recent years. But increased production costs due to labor shortages along with fuel and fertilizer prices skyrocketing are further threatening the sustainability of our agriculture industry. These issues are being compounded by Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, as Russia is a major supplier of fertilizer components,” said Commissioner Fried. “What’s at stake if farmers can no longer afford the fertilizer needed for crop production is our state’s second largest economic driver as well as the security of our domestic food supply, as Florida’s climate allows for the production of fresh fruit and vegetables in winter months when other states cannot produce such commodities.”

Fertilizer Production

“We greatly appreciate the USDA’s announcement and commitment to making much-needed investments to support more American-made fertilizer production and competition to address high costs and limited supplies,” Commissioner Fried continued. “I also greatly appreciated the opportunity to speak directly with USDA officials (Friday) on the heels of this announcement to share the urgent fertilizer pricing challenges facing Florida producers in the near-term. We look forward to continuing to work closely together with our federal and industry partners to find the solutions needed to keep our food supply strong and help our farmers keep Florida growing.”

On March 11, the USDA announced it will support additional fertilizer production for American farmers to address rising costs, including the impact of Putin’s price hike on farmers, and spur competition. USDA will make available $250 million through a new grant program this summer to support independent, innovative and sustainable American fertilizer production to supply American farmers. Additionally, to address growing competition concerns in the agricultural supply chain, USDA will launch a public inquiry seeking information regarding seeds and agricultural inputs, fertilizer, and retail markets.

Fertilizer prices have more than doubled since last year due to various factors including Putin’s price hike, a limited supply of the relevant minerals and high energy costs, high global demand and agricultural commodity prices, reliance on fertilizer imports and lack of competition in the fertilizer industry.

small sprout growing in soil in nature
Photo by Alexandr Podvalny on