TFI Applauds Swift Congressional Action to Avert a Rail Shutdown

ARLINGTON, VA – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) today applauded Congress for taking action to avert an economically devastating rail strike.

“TFI thanks Congress for its swift work this week to implement the September Tentative Agreements (TAs) reached by rail carriers and union leadership to avert a rail strike that would have severely disrupted delivery of fertilizer to farmers as well as hurting domestic production,” said TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “TFI is also appreciative of the Biden Administration’s leadership as this challenging situation took bipartisan efforts on all sides and every level of our government to make it happen. It is encouraging to see members of both parties working together, and this is good news for our nation as we approach the 118th Congress.”

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday voted on two resolutions; one to implement Tentative Agreements (TAs) that were agreed to in September by the rail carriers and labor union leadership, the second to add seven additional paid sick days to rank and file rail workers. Both resolutions passed the House. The Senate today voted on both resolutions, as well as a third that would have extended the negotiations. Of the three resolutions, the Senate passed only the resolution to implement the September TAs, which should now head to the President for his signature

“There was an industry-wide sigh of relief today after both Congressional chambers voted in favor of implementing the September TAs,” Rosenbusch continued. “Rail is critical to the movement of fertilizer year-round. Averting embargoes and production delays were crucial to not only ensuring we’re able to provide the fertilizers our nation’s farmers need, but also avoiding additional disruptions to a global market already constrained by geopolitical events and volatile energy prices.”

Today’s Congressional action to ensure the domestic rail network remains operational ends months of uncertainty for the fertilizer industry and other industries heavily dependent on rail. “Our members can now get back to doing what they do best,” Rosenbusch concluded. “And that’s producing and shipping fertilizers to the farmers across the country that grow the food, fuel and fiber that we all need. Today is a victory for food security, both in the U.S. and around the world.”




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 and follow us on Twitter at @Fertilizer_Inst. Learn more about TFI’s nutrient stewardship initiatives at and on Twitter at @4rnutrients.

TFI Applauds White House Leadership on Rail Strike

ARLINGTON, VA – In a statement from President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) today praised the Biden Administration for its leadership to avert an economically devastating rail strike by codifying agreements made between labor unions and rail carriers in September.

“TFI appreciates the leadership shown by President Biden in emphatically supporting efforts to codify the Tentative Agreements reached by rail carriers and labor unions in September. With over half of all fertilizer moving by rail year-round, we absolutely cannot afford a rail strike and Congress must act now to ensure that fertilizers and other critical materials and goods that U.S. consumers rely on every day get to where they are needed. Without Congressional action, rail networks will shut down on Dec. 9th, but our deadline is Sunday, December 4th which is when ammonia and other fertilizers and inputs will stop moving on the rails in preparation for a strike. These embargoes could hamper production and add additional uncertainty to an already tight global market.”

TFI has been heavily engaged in efforts to avert a nationwide rail network shutdown and will continue to do so until the matter is resolved. Below are past press releases and advocacy letters from TFI related to the potential rail strike.





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 and follow us on Twitter at @Fertilizer_Inst. Learn more about TFI’s nutrient stewardship initiatives at and on Twitter at @4rnutrients.

TFI: Fertilizer Comes Off the Rails in One Week without Congressional Action

Arlington, VA – In a letter to Congressional leadership, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) today again urged Congress to act to avert a potential rail strike that would see fertilizer and fertilizer inputs embargoed roughly five days prior to the inflation worsening strike.

“We warned that the U.S. couldn’t afford a rail strike in September, and that still remains true today,” said TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “The movement of fertilizer is greatly dependent on rail throughout the year. A rail strike would be devastating to fertilizer manufacturing and to fertilizer distribution to the farmers, who need it to grow the food on which the world depends.”

The tentative agreements reached by all parties at the last minute in September were welcome news at the time. Currently, it is possible that a strike could begin as soon as November 19, unless the “status quo” period is extended. If an agreement is not reached or if the “status quo” period cannot be extended, Congress must act. Fertilizer shipments could be embargoed as soon as November 14.

“We averted a strike in September, but in preparation for a rail stoppage certain sensitive cargo starts coming off the line. Fertilizer falls into that category and will likely be embargoed on Monday, November 14,” Rosenbusch continued. “For every day shipments are embargoed we essentially lose five shipping days because of the ramp down and ramp up.”

The situation is compounded by continuing logistical and supply chain disruptions that remain unresolved.

“There is zero elasticity in transportation at the moment,” Rosenbusch explained. “We continue struggling with enough trucks, drivers, and most recently, barges. Low water levels have severely curtailed barge movements along the Mississippi River and have affected grain and fertilizer shipments. We’re operating without a backstop and ultimately consumers are going to be the ones paying for inaction.”

Absent an agreement between the rail carriers and the unions, the only thing to stop an economically devasting rail strike is action from Congress.

“Congress must act and they must act immediately upon its return on November 14,” Rosenbusch said. “A rail stoppage is going to exacerbate inflation and hit U.S. consumers right before the holidays. Congress can avert this disaster and they must do so quickly.”




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 and follow us on Twitter at @Fertilizer_Inst. Learn more about TFI’s nutrient stewardship initiatives at and on Twitter at @4rnutrients.

T-3 Conference to Provide a Hub for Information on the Fertilizer Industry

Fertilizer is critical to the world’s food production system and the global stability of nations. Unprecedented global volatility means timely and accurate information on the market is a necessity, not a luxury. Getting a handle on the factors impacting today’s fertilizer market is about to get easier. The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) T-3 Conference, on November 7-9 in Houston, Texas is the must-attend meeting for economists, market analysts and reporters who track the fertilizer industry and the agricultural economy.

Attendees at this conference will return to their office with a greater understanding of the ways that supply and distribution challenges are impacting the industry and food production. Speakers include fertilizer market experts, regulators, including two members of the Surface Transportation Board, a former senior White House Advisor, and representatives of companies that are making innovation a centerpiece of their business plans.

Conference sessions include:

  • Market outlooks for Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash
  • Market outlooks for Agriculture and Natural Gas
  • Global Disruption: Russia
  • Green Ammonia in the fertilizer industry – why and how?
  • Fertilizer and Food Security
  • Inland waterway transportation challenges
  • Rail service

TFI members are entitled to a discounted registration fee. For further information, and to register, please visit the T-3 Conference page on TFI’s website. This is a live event and a limited number of media passes are still available. Please reach out to Kathy Mathers at [email protected] for additional information.

TFI Announces New Head Lobbyist, Other Staff Changes

Arlington, VA – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) today announced that Mr. Tom Lynch will serve as the organization’s new head of government affairs, effective October 3rd.

“Tom brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience that is especially well-suited for representing the fertilizer industry,” said TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “Fertilizer plays a critical role in feeding our growing world, and more and more our issues are becoming front and center. Tom’s expertise spans many issues that are of strategic importance to the industry and span everything from environment to rail.”

Prior to coming to TFI, Tom was the Vice President of Congressional Affairs for the American Short Line and Regional Railroads Association and General Counsel for the National Tank Truck Carriers. Before working in the private sector, Tom served in Senator Max Baucus’s office before serving as staff director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee.

In addition to announcing the addition of Tom Lynch to the TFI team, TFI also announced the retirement of long-time economist Dr. Harry Vroomen.

“TFI was lucky to have Harry over the past 29 years,” continued Rosenbusch. “There aren’t many, if any, people out there that understand the economic dynamics of the fertilizer industry as well as Harry. The good news is that will stay with TFI as an economic consultant.”

TFI Director of Market Intelligence Jason Troendle will be promoted to the role of economist effective immediately.

“Jason was a big part of our outreach effort to commodity groups and policymakers when fertilizer markets began to show volatility in 2020,” Rosenbusch said. “He has a knack for taking numbers and trends and translating that data to easily understood and digestible information.”

The final staff announcement from TFI is that of Dr. Leanna Nigon as Director of Agronomy.

“Leanna comes to us from Wisconsin and has agriculture in her blood from growing up on a no-till farm,” Rosenbusch concluded. “She earned her undergraduate degree in Agronomy and Life Sciences from the University of Wisconsin, and both her M.S. in Applied Plant Sciences and Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge in nutrient management and we are excited to have her on the TFI team.”



2023 4R Advocate Awards : Call for Entries

Online submissions are due by November 30th.

 The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is now accepting nominations for the 2023 4R Advocate awards. This program recognizes farmers and fertilizer retailers for their commitment to sound nutrient stewardship using the 4Rs, or the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, the right time and in the right place. Through these 4R farming practices, farmers improve their return on their nutrient inputs and decrease environmental impact.  

“The 4R Advocate program highlights farmers’ partnerships with their retailers or certified agronomists throughout the year and demonstrates to the fertilizer industry, the agricultural community, and policymakers the real-world benefits the 4Rs deliver on the farm and in communities,” said TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch.

“Farmers often get unfairly blamed for overapplying fertilizers,” continued Rosenbusch. “Our work with 4R Advocates tells a different story as these growers are outperforming farmers around the world. This program is a key component of our research strategy and allows us to continue to challenge the narrative with an expanded portfolio of grower case studies.”

Advocate nominations are due no later than Friday, November 30, 2022. Program rules and entry forms for retailers and industry partners to nominate farmers are available online, as are easy directions for farmers and retailers to document their efforts to apply the 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles and to chart results. Applicants can also read previous winners’ stories at   

The 2023 4R Advocate winners will be announced in mid-December. Advocates will be recognized throughout 2023 at TFI meetings and other ag forums. The 2023 Advocates will serve as 4R ambassadors within their businesses and in the wider grower community.

To date, 120 4R Advocates from 24 states, representing nearly one-quarter million acres have been recognized. They grow crops that include apples, alfalfa, cabbage, collard greens, corn, cotton, hops, peanuts, rice, soybeans, strawberries, tomatoes, and more.

The 4R Advocate program aims to raise awareness and adoption of 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices. Fertilizer is a key component of sustainable crop production systems, and the fertilizer industry recognizes the need to efficiently utilize these nutrients. 4R Advocates and other farmers have partnered with The Fertilizer Institute to demonstrate how 4R practices have led to cost-efficiencies and improved environmental outcomes on their fields. More information and data on their efforts is available at




# # #


TFI Urges Congressional Action to Avert Nationwide Rail Stoppage

Arlington, VA – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) yesterday sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging congressional action to prevent a Sept. 16th shutdown of freight rail operations in the United States. The potential shutdown comes as rail carriers and labor unions continue negotiations on a contract agreement.

“A disruption to freight rail operations would be catastrophic,” said TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “Over half of all fertilizer moves by rail year-round throughout the United States and the timeliness and reliability of fertilizer shipments is absolutely critical. If farmers do not receive fertilizer, it results in lower crop yields, higher food prices, and more inflation for consumers.”

The letter sent by TFI urges Congress to begin preparations to implement the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) recommendations that fall in the middle of the carriers’ and unions’ contract proposals to avert a total stoppage.

“A speedy resolution is paramount,” concluded Rosenbusch. “With less than two weeks to go, carriers and shippers have already begun contingency planning and if no agreement is reached soon rail shipments will have to wind down days before Sept. 16 to allow carriers to carefully clear their networks. Fertilizer shippers and their farmer customers want carriers and their unions to reach a compromise, and if necessary, Congress needs to act to prevent a devastating halt to our nation’s supply chain.”




Ag Retail Leader and Sustainability Advocates Headline InfoAg Conference in St. Louis

Arlington, VA – InfoAg, the leading conference and expo in precision agriculture since 1995 for the agriculture retail community, will this year be headlined with a keynote from GreenPoint Ag President and CEO Jeff Blair and a robust panel discussion on sustainability and stewardship with growers Tom Connors and David Myerholtz moderated by AGI Farmobile Vice President of Data Services Steve Cubbage.

“We are extremely excited to have Jeff Blair as our keynote speaker at this year’s InfoAg Conference in St. Louis,” said The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President & CEO Corey Rosenbusch, whose organization holds the event. “Jeff is well-known and well-respected among his industry peers. Jeff is passionate in elevating the agriculture industry while driving the development of GreenPoint through steadfast customer engagement, performance improvement and operational excellence.”

During his keynote, Jeff will share his vision for the future of agriculture and ag retail, including the value of advancing sustainability, crop science innovations in soil sampling, variable-rate fertilizer application, effectively applied crop protection products, and empowering farmers and growers.

The following day’s general session luncheon, titled Profitable Practices, Sustainable Solutions and sponsored by AGI Farmobile, will key in on real-life examples of how sustainability and profitability can go hand-in-hand and provide attendees insight into the tools and innovations utilized by a set of growers and how they achieved maximum efficiency and profitability while being environmentally sustainable, including 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices.

“The credibility of the industry’s collective work around 4R, sustainability, regenerative ag, and carbon programs hinge on the integrity of the data used to document practices and measure progress so participants can be rewarded for their efforts,” says Bradford Warner, AGI vice president of sustainability for Farmobile. “That is AGI’s focus. We seek to help ag retailers and their growers capture, maintain and control high-quality, standardized data sets to foster these new markets and benefit their own operations.” During the event, AGI will roll-out a new100k-acre pilot collaboration with TFI and ag retailers to advance the use of the 4R calculator.

“The world’s population is set to reach 8 billion people by this November and 10 billion people by 2050,” Rosenbusch elaborated. “So how is the agriculture industry positioning itself to feed this future? How can we increase land use efficiency while protecting the farmer’s bottom line? These are the questions we are helping to answer through InfoAg and dynamic speakers like Jeff, Tom, David and Steve.”

The InfoAg Conference and Expo addresses the challenges of the ag retail agronomist through the lens of precision ag, environmental stewardship, sustainability, and product innovation. The conference features opportunities for crop consultants, agronomists, and other agricultural retail employees to learn more about innovative practices and new products and technologies that can be put into action with their grower customers. The conference also offers unique opportunities to share information and stories among industry peers.

“The information obtained through education sessions and on-site networking is extremely valuable to advancing shared goals of sustainability,” concluded Rosenbusch. “The final piece to this is the tradeshow aspect of the conference, where you can hear firsthand about the products, practices, and services being talked about among farmers across the country.”

InfoAg is being held in St. Louis, MO on July 26 and 27. Information about the conference and registration can be found by clicking here.


About GreenPoint Ag:

Headquartered in Decatur, Alabama, GreenPoint is one of the leading retail agronomy providers in the southern United States with a team of more than 1,000 employees across 10 states. To learn more, click here.


About AGI (Ag Growth International Inc.):

AGI is a provider of the physical equipment and digital technology solutions required to support global food infrastructure including grain, fertilizer, seed, feed, and food processing systems. AGI’s digital division includes leading data-driven brands that build value from field to bin, including Farmobile, BinManager, SureTrack, and CMC. AGI’s Farmobile data technology is a leader in auto-collecting and standardizing complex agronomic and machine data sets from a mixed fleet of equipment so it can be easily viewed, shared and streamed into other software systems. A To learn more, click here.





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 and follow us on Twitter at @Fertilizer_Inst. Learn more about TFI’s nutrient stewardship initiatives at and on Twitter at @4rnutrients.

Iowa State University Study Can’t Refute that Increased Production Costs and Commensurate Supply Chain Issues Drove Increase in Fertilizer Prices

Fertilizer prices increased to 10-year highs over 2021 and 2022, leading growers, policymakers and others in the agriculture industry to look for the reason why. Those in the fertilizer industry who experienced the back-to-back-to-back events first-hand that drove prices up over the course of those 24 months are keenly aware of the reasons why, but many outside the industry latched onto something more nefarious: market consolidation and greed.

A recently released report undertaken by the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University (ISU) at the request of Iowa Attorney General Miller came to the primary conclusion that they did not have enough evidence to refute that “increased production costs and commensurate supply chain issues were the main cause of increased fertilizer prices in 2021/2022.”

This finding was not news to TFI. In fact, TFI has been spending a good chunk of these last two years educating commodity groups, farmer organizations, and policymakers about the myriad issues impacting fertilizer markets and influencing fertilizer prices. You know, things such as the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, increased energy costs, hurricanes, deep freezes, geopolitical unrest, political sanctions, and the Russia-Ukraine war.

Beyond the study’s primary conclusion, TFI has examined the report and provided additional key takeaway points and provided them below.

  • The study acknowledges and articulates well a variety of factors influencing fertilizer prices and markets. While there is always an ability to add more detail and background, the study provides a more holistic view of the market than the Texas A&M white paper that only focused on the change in domestic natural gas price. The ISU study could have made a stronger connection between global energy and fertilizer markets and the domestic fertilizer market.
  • A trend analysis of the price relationship between ammonia, granular urea, Henry Hub natural gas, international natural gas and corn price showed that “[A]nalyses imply fertilizer prices are likely to rely more on input costs than output prices most of the time. In recent years, anhydrous ammonia prices have depended on international natural gas prices, while urea prices relied more on domestic natural gas prices.” Several statistical and economic methods were utilized to arrive at these conclusions.
  • The authors provide a robust conversation on market power and economic profit, explaining “that while economists agree concentration is a necessary condition for market power, they have for decades now mostly abandoned the assertion that concentration is sufficient for market power.” This statement means that looking only at the correlation between the level of concentration or number of firms and the reported profits of an industry to determine market power and influence has been abandoned for other more robust techniques.
  • The media often discusses the fertilizer industries profits, stock prices and returns as evidence of market power. Economists have always been wary of looking at these metrics as these measures are not identical to the economic profits economists seek when measuring market power.
    • “The fertilizer industry’s average net income return over the past few years is high but comparable to other large industries, especially when taken over a longer run as fertilizer companies had low (sometimes negative) profits prior to 2020. The fertilizer industry’s average stock price return is also comparable to that of other firms in other large industries and comparable with a large portfolio of other firms and seems to be commensurate with its relative risk. A similar comparison to Iowa farm incomes and land value returns shows that the fertilizer returns actually lag those slightly.”
    • “Stock prices, especially, reflect what investors think the potential for earnings are, and stock price returns for these companies before and during the pandemic should reflect investors’ broader market perceptions of each firm’s risk and return. The takeaway from examining stock price returns is that the fertilizer industry is similar to the broader market from an investment return perspective.”

Upon publication of the study, Iowa Attorney General Miller in a news release thanked ISU for studying the fertilizer market and prices and for publishing the report. He also promised his office would continue monitoring the situation.

TFI is appreciative of economist at ISU for completing this in-depth study that highlights both current market supply and demand factors and their influence on markets, as well as their explanation of key economic principles related to common questions about the industry. While the study does leave several questions unanswered, the study provides the best analysis data will allow to date.

TFI welcomes any member feedback or perspective on conclusions of the study and ask that you please send those comments to TFI Director of Market Intelligence Jason Troendle at [email protected] or (202) 515-2710.


TFI Lauds Congressional Leadership on Rail Service Issues

Arlington, VA – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch today praised the bipartisan leadership of Congressmen Ralph Norman (R-SC-5) and Jim Costa (D-CA-16) for organizing a letter to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) regarding poor rail service and the negative impact it is having on the fertilizer industry and the overall agricultural sector.

“With over half of all fertilizer moving by rail, we are grateful for the leadership of Congressmen Norman and Costa in bringing the issue of inconsistent rail service to the attention of the STB,” Rosenbusch said. “Their dedication to working with all stakeholders will help ensure that essential crop nutrient inputs reach farmers when and where they need them.”

Fertilizer shipments rely heavily on rail to reach farmers, but imposed restrictions, along with skeleton crews and railroad-led initiatives such as precision-scheduled railroading (PSR), have forced fertilizer shipping reductions and potential production delays.

“Fertilizer is attributable to half of all crop yields,” Rosenbusch continued. “With the world leaning on U.S. farmers now more than ever before to feed our growing population, we must ensure strong yields and our food security. Fertilizer must reach farmers in a timely manner and crop harvests also need to get to their destinations, including the kitchen table.”

The Congressional letter to the STB was signed by 51 members of Congress and can be read in full here.