The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch late Friday applauded the House passage of the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.” The legislation authorizes a new highway bill and includes funding for roads, bridges, broadband and water navigation.
“Infrastructure investment is critical to the fertilizer industry because of the just-in-time nature of demand. Fertilizer needs to be delivered to growers exactly when and where they need it and there is not much room for error,” Rosenbusch said. “Bottlenecks due to road or bridge closures or delays due to crumbling locks and dams can negatively impact the timely delivery of necessary crop nutrients to farmers. Fertilizer is critical to strong yields and the success of America’s agricultural industry.
Surface transportation provisions of particular importance to the fertilizer industry are $110 billion for Highway programs, including $12.5 billion for the Bridge Investment Program, and the inclusion of the Drive Safe Act apprentice program and Hours of Service exemption. “All fertilizer utilized in the United States touches a truck at least once, meaning that reliable and safe highways, roads and bridges are of paramount importance,” Rosenbusch explained.
Rosenbusch next highlighted the $17 billion for waterway infrastructure and the $2.5 billion marked for inland waterways construction, explaining that “fertilizer moves year-round by rail, barge and pipeline and ocean vessels and there is much funding needed to address over $8 billion in backlog maintenance for inland waterways.”
Connecting rural America to broadband is also a priority of TFI, with Rosenbusch calling it essential for precision agriculture and the wider implementation of 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices, a scientifically proven method of maximizing crop yields while significantly reducing environmental impacts.
“It has been a long road to get here, but we applaud the House and Senate for coming together and passing this much needed legislation,” Rosenbusch concluded. “Half of all crop yields are directly attributable to fertilizer. If growers don’t receive fertilizer in a timely manner, then there are potential consequences for food security and the environment. We urge President Biden to sign this landmark legislation as soon as it comes across his desk.”