American Fertilizer Production Gets a Major Boost From the USDA

American farmland is in peril. As the US population continues to grow, even after the COVID-19 pandemic, natural lands and farms are consistently re-zoned and demolished to make way for needed housing and development. Urban sprawl quickly devours valuable farmland and further decays US agriculture.

The historical struggle of the farmer continues as the price of necessary supplies, like fertilizer, steadily increase. Good news can be found in a recent announcement by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) of the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program, which will invest $29 million to grow the American-made fertilizer industry. 

Disappearing Farmland

It’s a two-edged sword. We need American farms to feed American people. One farm in the US can feed up to 166 people per year. With our population growing, our farmland should match the pace. Yet according to a report by the American Farmland Trust, it’s estimated that the US could lose up to 18 million acres of farmland by 2040. 

The impact of that looming loss could be substantial. Just one acre of farmland can be significantly productive. It can provide 50,000 pounds of strawberries or 2,784 pounds of wheat. In other words, every acre counts

The US faces obstacles when it comes to an efficient food system. Many consumers have little care about where their food comes from and opt to buy cheaper imported produce. Of all the food grown in the US, about 40% of it is never eaten. 

Along with educating the public on the importance of farms and increasing consumers’ patronage of their local rural businesses, efforts to support the agricultural industry must increase. The threat of a precarious market and disappearing farmland could put the delicate balance of our food system in danger. 

USDA Lends a Hand

Farmers need help, to say the least. And this was evident through the vast amount of applications that independent businesses submitted for a new grant program. Over 350 requests totaled $3 billion and came from nearly every state and territory. 

The first round of grants will shell out $29 million to help promote American-made fertilizer efforts. This focus will, in turn, increase local competition and decrease the need for farmers to purchase supplies from overseas. 

Thanks to a report called the Farms Under Threat, three unique pathways were outlined to portray the problem of disappearing agricultural lands. These courses are titled Business as Usual, Runaway Sprawl, and Better Built Cities. The ideal path for our future is outlined under the Better Built Cities scenario, which aims to protect farmland and support our food system. 

Better Built Cities

The Better Built Cities pathway helps guide policymakers toward a future that can significantly reduce the destruction of farmland. It includes supporting domestic businesses, aiding farmers, and ultimately ensuring food security for the nation. 

This first wave of grants from the USDA follows this ideal pathway. The Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP) provides government support for American agricultural businesses. Granting amounts from $1 million to $100 million to individual businesses, grant awardees will receive funds to help modernize their equipment, make necessary purchases, construct new buildings, and more.
Overall, the amount of support for these grants in the FPEP will total $500 million. This investment in US farms will greatly aid local businesses, create more jobs, and allow the nation to continue towards a future of Better Built Cities.

About The Author



Mike leads research on the team, writes, and manages the YouTube channel. He’s been buying products made in the USA for as long as he can remember. It’s in his blood, growing up working in American manufacturing.