COLUMBUS — The federal government is expanding its investment in domestic fertilizer production by more than $50 million.

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"You know, fertilizer is one of those things that is really essential in raising crops and in producing food," said Andy Vance, Spectrum News 1 agriculture expert.

Since the war in Ukraine broke out, the federal government has been looking at ways to boost domestic production of fertilizer rather than relying on other countries to export what's needed.

"A lot of the minerals, the fertilizers, the phosphates, nitrogen, etc., that we use in commercial agriculture are mined and developed from that region of the world," Vance said. "And so when you have a shock to the system, like, you know, Russia's invasion of the country and ongoing war with Ukraine, that has sent fertilizer prices higher and certainly that's been a burden for farmers in Ohio and across the Midwest."

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Ohio will receive funding for three projects: two specific to the Buckeye State and one shared with Pennsylvania.

Growers Mineral Corporation will receive $3,935,600 to help pay for a new facility that is expected to increase fertilizer production by 279% by 2027 in Milan, Ohio.

Quasar Energy Group LLC will receive $3,959,285 for the production of biofertilizer products, a projected 24 million gallons per year at the project's completion.

Finally, $2,036,112 will be shared between farmers, ranchers and small businesses in both Pennsylvania and Ohio in developing alternative fertilizers.

"Three different projects in Ohio, and one of those three also has some some footprint in Pennsylvania," Vance said. "But in other words, something like 20 percent of this funding from this most recent announcement is coming to Ohio, which is really exciting."