USDA Opens Public Comment Period on Seed and Fertilizer Market Competition

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Stakeholders have the opportunity to comment on potential changes to intellectual property (IP) protection proposed by the USDA. On March 11, the agency launched a public inquiry urging the public to provide feedback regarding the seed, fertilizer and retail markets.

This 60-day comment period is the result of the July 9, 2021 Executive Order on “Advancing Competition in the American Economy,” where President Biden implemented 72 initiatives aimed at addressing what he has called competition problems in the economy.

To participate in the public debate, submit your comments here before May 16, 2022.

USDA offers grants to bolster domestic production and increase competition

The USDA recently announced that it will promote domestic fertilizer production under a $250 million subsidy program. Funded by the Commodity Credit Corporation, the program’s goal is “to support independent, innovative, and sustainable U.S. fertilizer production to supply U.S. farmers.”

More information on the application process will be released in the coming months.

Fertilizer prices have more than doubled in the past year due to many factors, including Putin’s continued cost escalation and the COVID pandemic, according to the USDA. As the second or third largest importer of the three major fertilizer components, the USDA intends to reduce the United States’ dependence on foreign countries.

“Concentrated market structures and potentially anti-competitive practices leave American farmers, businesses, and consumers facing higher costs, less choice and less control over where to buy and sell, and reduced innovation. , which ultimately makes it harder for those who grow our food to survive,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said of the potential shift in production in a recent press release.

“In addition to jobs, reduced costs and more reliable supply, increased investment in the domestic fertilizer industry will help fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation, while promoting more sustainable production methods and more precise application,” he said. continued.

To learn more about the USDA’s action plan, read their full press release here.

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