TFI Releases Latest Report on Fertilizer Industry Sustainability

Arlington, VA – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) today released new data highlighting industry improvement in sustainability performance in key priority areas of workforce safety, energy and the environment, fertilizer use, and industry innovation.

“The over 100,000 employees of the fertilizer industry work each day to produce and supply fertilizer to farmers in an effort to feed the world,” said TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “To feed a global population of 1 billion people by 2050, fertilizer is playing a critical role in increasing both food production and land use efficiency sustainability in agriculture.”

TFI has collected data since 2013 on metrics that provide insight into the industry’s efforts to improve safety, security, sustainability, environmental stewardship, and efficiency. The data announced today was gathered in 2023 and reflects industry operations in 2022.

“The industry is continuously working towards more sustainable operations, including efforts to decarbonize and mitigate environmental impacts,” Rosenbusch continued. “Each step of the supply chain is focused on doing more with fewer resources while limiting impacts on communities and the environment. The data in this report highlights the achievements we’ve made in worker safety, energy, and environmental metrics.”

Report highlights include:

  • Participating members reported a total of 25 zero-discharge facilities, at which all wastewater is recycled. 
  • When compared to the Department of Labor’s data for similar companies in wholesale, mining, and manufacturing, our members outperform the industry benchmarks in every category. 
  • Farmers in the US have a nitrogen use efficiency of 70%, which is much higher in comparison to the world average of 55%. The 2023 4R Advocates had an average of 100% nitrogen use efficiency.
  • TFI members are working towards decarbonizing manufacturing sites, including boosting energy efficiency, carbon capture and sequestration, investing in electrolysis technologies, and more. Low carbon ammonia technologies can increase the sustainability of fertilizers while ensuring agricultural productivity. TFI is developing a protocol to define carbon intensity for ammonia production in North America.

The data includes metrics on segments of the fertilizer industry from fertilizer use on the farm, worker safety, energy and environment, and industry innovation. To learn more about this year’s report, click here.

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First Biostimulant Certified Under TFI Program

Arlington, VA – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) announced today that its newly launched Certified Biostimulant program has awarded the first certification for a biostimulant product.

“We are pleased to announce that AgroLiquid’s C-Tech biostimulant product has gone through the necessary steps to be recognized as a Certified Biostimulant by TFI,” said TFI president and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “Upon thorough review of their data, research, and methodology, we have confirmed their adherence to industry-established standards, ensuring that among other criteria, proper experimental protocols were followed during efficacy testing.”

TFI’s Certified Biostimulant initiative aligns with the United States Biostimulant Industry Guidelines, which set forth criteria for comprehensive documentation supporting efficacy testing methods, composition, and safety measures. Upon certification, a product is granted a distinctive label, signifying to agricultural retailers and consumers that it has undergone the necessary steps to meet the outlined standards in the guidelines.

“Biostimulants are a relatively new innovation in agriculture that have tremendous potential to enhance the existing environmental stewardship of growers and compliment 4R fertilizer practices,” Rosenbusch explained. “But in countless conversations with ag retailers, what kept coming up was the lack of a standard when assessing the new products and deciding which products to stock and recommend to their grower customers. The Certified Biostimulant program was created to provide that standard because we want to get them into the hands of more growers, and we want both the ag retailers and growers to have confidence when choosing which product they use.”

Plant biostimulants can potentially play a crucial role in sustainable agriculture by promoting nutrient uptake, stress tolerance, and overall plant vigor. Biostimulants have also been proven to provide such environmental benefits such as enhanced carbon sequestration and reduced nutrient leaching to ground and surface water.

“When we talk nutrient management, we are talking about minimizing losses to the environment, water quality, air quality, soil health, and all the other things important to the conservation and environmental communities. Biostimulants support environmental stewardship by improving the efficiencies of fertilizer application and soil health while also increasing crop yields,” Rosenbusch concluded. “We are proud to bring consumer confidence to the marketplace through our certification program and look forward to certifying more biostimulant products in the future that help to ensure our dinner tables are full and the environment is being protected.”

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The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is the leading voice of the nation’s fertilizer industry. Tracing its roots back to 1883, TFI’s membership includes fertilizer producers, wholesalers, retailers and trading firms. TFI’s full-time staff, based in Washington, D.C., serves its members through legislative, educational, technical, economic information and public communication programs. Find more information about TFI online at TFI.org and follow us on Twitter at @Fertilizer_Inst. Learn more about TFI’s nutrient stewardship initiatives at nutrientstewardship.org and on Twitter at @4rnutrients.

TFI: Phosphate and Potash are Critical Minerals, Senate Bill to Solidify

Arlington, VA – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) today praised the U.S. Senate for introducing bipartisan legislation to include phosphate and potash on the final list of critical minerals of the Department of the Interior. Introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Thom Tills (R-NC), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), and Rick Scott (R-FL), the legislation will recognize the importance of ensuring a strong and sustainable domestic fertilizer supply for American farmers.

“We thank Senators Brown, Tillis, Baldwin, Marshall, Ricketts, and Scott for coming together and introducing this important legislation,” said TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “The majority of the world’s phosphate and potash resources are concentrated in only a few countries, leaving them open to supply chain vulnerabilities and geopolitical instability. The events of the past few years have shown us that food security is national security and now is the time to change how we talk about these vital resources.”

The United States imports roughly 95% of its potash needs, the bulk of which come from Canada. Only 14 countries in the world produce potash, with Belarus and Russia comprising nearly 40% of global production. Regarding phosphate, China accounts for over 40% of global production.

“It is vital that we, as a country, take proactive steps to secure our own agricultural future by recognizing the role these minerals play in putting food on our tables,” Rosenbusch continued. “Without these two minerals, modern agricultural systems would crumble and the ability to feed our growing population would be nearly impossible.”

The U.S. has both phosphate and potash production, but expanding mines and opening new ones is a costly and time-consuming process measured in years and in the tens of millions of dollars for permitting alone. Being listed as critical minerals would not exclude these projects from environmental reviews, but would assign a single permitting agency to be responsible and streamline the process.

“By adding phosphate and potash to the Critical Minerals list, we can take a significant stride towards securing our own future and sending the clear message that safeguarding our nation’s food supply is not only an economic imperative, but a strategic priority that ensures our well-being,” Rosenbusch concluded. “We look forward to working with Congress to support this vital legislation.”

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