New fertilizer plants should help farmers trim production costs

New fertilizer plants should help farmers trim production costs
State officials join executives from the Iowa Fertilizer Company in a ribbon cutting ceremony for a $3 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant in Lee County. The new plant, along with an expansion at CF Industries in Sioux City, is expected to help control costs for Iowa farmers. Pictured in the ribbon cutting are, from left: Chuck Gipp, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds; Ahmed El-Hoshy and Nassef Sawiris of OCI

The beginning of production at two new nitrogen fertilizer plants in Iowa will mean significant savings for Iowa farmers facing tight crop budgets, according Iowa Farm Bureau Research and Commodity Services Director Dave Miller.

"You now have two more major domestic suppliers that are pushing down nitrogen prices," Miller said. "Four years ago, Iowa was a net importer of nitrogen. Now, Iowa will not only be self-sufficient in nitrogen, but could be a net exporter."

Iowa Fertilizer Co. last week celebrated the start of production at its $3 billion nitrogen fertilizer facility near Wever in southeast Iowa. In the other corner of the state, CF Industries completed a $1.7 billion expansion at its plant near Sioux City last December.

The Iowa Fertilizer project is the first U.S. nitrogen facility built from scratch in more than a quarter of a century, company officials said.

"With the start of production, this plant … will create more certainty and lower costs for farmers," said Nassef Sawris, CEO of...

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