Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual convention several major developments at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will benefit farmers, ranchers and producers across the nation.
“At USDA, our goal is to provide all farmers, including new and underserved producers, with the opportunity to receive the assistance they need to continue farming, to build and maintain their competitive-edge, and to access more, new and better markets,” said Vilsack. “Working together we can ensure American agriculture is as resilient as ever and will do so by implementing a holistic approach to emergency assistance, lowering input costs through investments in domestic fertilizer production and promoting competition in agricultural markets.”
A significant development surrounds fertilizer production in the U.S.
The USDA will soon begin accepting public comments on environmental and related aspects of 21 potentially viable projects to increase fertilizer production across the United States totaling $88 million. These applicants have requested grant funding through the first round of the Department’s newly established Fertilizer Production Expansion Program.
Investing in projects to increase fertilizer production will bring production and jobs back to the United States, promote competition and support American goods and services.
The USDA is considering fertilizer production projects in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. In response to prior feedback requesting more time for public comment on the environmental and related impact of USDA-funded projects, USDA is seeking comments from the public on the following questions and projects pertaining to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA).
The 30-day public comment period will close Feb. 8, 2023. Additional information is available at www.rd.usda.gov/fpep-environmental-review-comments.