A program to spur domestic fertilizer production capacity announced earlier this year will be open for business soon.

According to the Department of Agriculture, $500 million in grants through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program will be offered to “support independent, innovative and sustainable American fertilizer production to supply American farmers.” Funding can also be used to “expand the manufacturing and processing of fertilizer and nutrient alternatives in the U.S. and its territories.”

A Tuesday USDA release noted the application window will open “in the coming days” and will include two opportunities for submission: a 45-day window for projects to increase fertilizer availability for the 2023 or 2024 crop years and a 90-day window for applications for “applicants who need more time to make additional capacity available.”

“USDA believes in the growth of innovative, local businesses owned and shared by people who can best serve their own unique community’s needs, fill gaps, and build opportunities,” Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. “Recent supply chain disruptions have shown just how critical it is to invest in the agricultural supply chain here at home.”

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Vilsack first announced the program in March. At the time, $250 million was expected to be made available, an amount that was doubled a few months later. Calls for the expansion of domestic production capacity were amplified earlier this year when the Russian invasion of Ukraine pressured American fertilizer supplies and contributed to rising input costs for producers.

Grants will be administered over a five-year term with a maximum award of $100 million and a minimum offering of $1 million. USDA plans to hold two webinars in early October to assist interested parties learn about application requirements.

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