Table of contents
A letter from the president

The future of the fertilizer industry depends on our ability to provide goods and services that help growers feed the world, while keeping the industry’s colleagues, consumers, and communities safe. Each year, more member companies voluntarily contribute data and demonstrate their dedication to continuous improvement and sustainable growth.

In 2018, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) will be working to deliver on a practical and intentional theme, “Out Front.” I am proud that this — our third annual State of The Industry report — moves our industry forward. The 33 companies who participated in this report represent the entire fertilizer value chain and account for 94 percent of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium production capacity and 33 percent of the retail sector in the United States.

Highlights of this report include:

  • Across the fertilizer sector, the overall lost time incident rate has dropped from 1.1 to 0.8 cases per 100 full time equivalent employees between 2013 and 2016. As a whole, the fertilizer industry is two times as safe as our industry peers.
  • Reporting companies collectively captured 8 million metric tons of CO2. This is the equivalent of taking nearly two million cars off the road for an entire year.
  • Reporting companies reclaimed about 1.4 billion gallons of water, which could fill more than 2,100 Olympic-sized swimming pools. 
  • Reporting companies shipped almost 20 million tons of fertilizer by rail. It would take nearly 800,000 trucks to move this same amount of fertilizer.

TFI’s 4R Fund and other partner resources invested nearly $1 million in research aimed at strengthening fertilizer best management practices to reduce nutrient loss. 

We track our industry’s performance and provide stakeholders — including the public — the data that we collect to identify successes, target areas for improvement, and ensure our industry stays “Out Front.” Transparency is not a one-way street, and we have included a full accounting of the data collected for this report in the appendix. I invite you to contact us at [email protected] with your questions or comments.


Chris Jahn
Chris Jahn
President, TFI

U.N. Sustainability Goals


The Fertilizer Industry’s Contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the United Nations adopted a set of goals aimed at ending poverty and promoting prosperity while protecting the planet. These 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) involve the work of governments, businesses, and citizens to improve the lives of people everywhere. The Fertilizer Institute and our members are working to achieve continuous improvement on environmental, economic, and social outcomes, and our industry is actively contributing to the following SDGs that align most closely to the sector.

Look for these icons at the beginning of each chapter to see which of the SDGs most closely link to the content in that chapter.

Zero HungerThe fertilizer industry supplies the nutrients needed to grow the crops that feed the world.

Zero HungerSustainable water management practices and land reclamation are in place during fertilizer production. On the farm, fertilizer best management practice awareness, research, and implementation is a priority to reducing environmental loss.

Zero HungerClean, abundant natural gas powers many of the industry’s production operations, and waste heat recapture technologies make facilities more efficient. 

Zero HungerCapital investments to advance innovation and improve infrastructure have positive impacts on safety, environmental, and energy performance.

Zero HungerPractices are in place to capture and reuse CO2 emitted during fertilizer production, and optimized fertilizer use to reduce nitrogen emissions is pursued on the farm.

2017 State of the Fertilizer Industry

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2017 Fertilizer State of the Industry Report Download the PDF

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