USDA Rural Development Administrator Tours Landus Co-op Green Ammonia Facility in Boone and BioCentury Research Farm in Ames to Highlight Bioeconomy Innovations in Iowa

Jun 14, 2024

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Administrator for the Rural Business-Cooperative Service Betsy Dirksen Londrigan today toured a new facility at Landus Cooperative in Boone and participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to highlight the Agency’s investments in the bioeconomy. Landus Cooperative is the largest agricultural cooperative in Iowa, providing products and services to 7,000 farmer owners.

“The innovative technologies we have seen here today can help strengthen our nation’s food supply chain, create jobs, and foster new market opportunities,” said Administrator Dirksen Londrigan. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to increasing the supply of American-made fertilizer to our ag producers. Under the leadership of Secretary Vilsack, USDA is partnering with member-owned cooperatives to improve the landscape of options for farmers and ranchers who want to participate in climate-smart agriculture.”

In June of 2023, Landus Cooperative received a grant for $4,885,988 from USDA to offset the costs associated with building the greenfield fertilizer manufacturing and repackaging facility in Boone County. The facility will manufacture a foliar, slow-release nitrogen product to decrease in-ground nitrogen application rates and increase overall nitrogen efficiency in growing corn.

Administrator Dirksen Londrigan also toured the BioCentury Research Farm at Iowa State University in Ames. Accompanied by Theresa Greenfield, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, she welcomed the media to a roundtable discussion with industry leaders to amplify the challenges and successes of bioeconomy innovations in Iowa.

USDA Fertilizer Production and Expansion Program

The USDA grant to Landus in 2023 was made through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP). This program provides grants to independent business owners to help them modernize equipment, adopt new technologies, build production plants, and more.

President Biden and USDA created FPEP to combat issues facing American farmers due to rising fertilizer prices, which more than doubled between 2021 and 2022 due to a variety of factors such as war in Ukraine and a lack of competition in the fertilizer industry. The Administration committed up to $900 million through the Commodity Credit Corporation for FPEP. Funding supports long-term investments that will strengthen supply chains, create new economic opportunities for American businesses, and support climate-smart innovation. FPEP is part of a broader effort to help producers boost production and address global food insecurity. It is also one of many ways the Administration is promoting fair competition, innovation and resiliency across food and agriculture while combating the climate crisis.

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