Landus CEO Matt Carstens addresses attendees at fertili

Landus CEO Matt Carstens addresses attendees at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 75,000 square foot fertilizer manufacturing and repackaging facility near Boone. (Photo: Iowa Soybean Association / Bethany Baratta)

New facility seeks to shorten supply chain

July 3, 2024 | Bethany Baratta

A new facility situated just east of Boone seeks to produce and supply area farmers with fertilizers and other necessary products in a timelier, more cost-effective, manner.

Landus recently held a ribbon cutting event, highlighting its new fertilizer and repackaging facility.  The $15 million, 75,000 square foot fertilizer manufacturing and repackaging facility was constructed with the help of a $4.8 million USDA Fertilizer Production Expansion Program grant. It sits adjacent to the current Landus 33-acre grain facility, which is also undergoing expansion.

“The big value of this facility starts at part 1 where we’ve taken the links out of the supply chain to make the production and movement of these products to the farmer more economical and at the level of performance they should expect,” says Landus CEO Matt Carstens.

They’ve eliminated those links by buying raw ingredients, formulating fertilizer blends, and selling them directly to farmers. Products can be formulated and sold in quantities of 5 gallons to full tanker loads.

Also on site is the first green ammonia production system in North America, a partnership between Landus and TalusAg. Once operational, the facility will be capable of producing more than one ton of green ammonia per day. A Talus facility in Eagle Grove produces more than 20 tons of green ammonia per day.

Landus’ foray into this space comes as farmers consider incentive programs which reward those who have better carbon intensity (CI) scores. A domestically-produced fertilizer fares better in CI scoring than nitrogen sourced from China, Russia and the Middle East, for example, due in part to the carbon implications of transporting the product stateside.

“It lowers the CI score, which is a definite positive,” says Jeff Frank, a Landus board member and Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) director near Auburn.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) $4.8 million grant for the project was made through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program. President Biden and USDA created the program to combat issues facing farmers, according to Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service administrator.

“Part of President Biden’s initiative around fertilizer is the recognition that we need more domestically-produced fertilizer,” Londrigan says, noting that fertilizer prices more than doubled between 2021 and 2022 due to the war in Ukraine, the lack of competition in the fertilizer industry and other factors. “We want to make sure we do everything we can to give access to farmers, and we’ve got an opportunity right here.”

For area farmers like Frank, the facility’s features dedicated to improving the efficiency for the farmer—like the ability to get crop-ready hot mixes by pulling up to the load out bays for a fill—is second to none.

“This is state-of-the-art,” Frank says. “A loadout facility like this is amazing. To actually have hot loads available speeds things up for the farmer.”

The facility will manufacture Landus’ entire AcreEdge Performance Portfolio featuring over a dozen unique adjuvants, seed treatments and foliar nutrients. The site employs 75 current Landus employees and three additional on-site, full-time positions. Carstens says the facility will be adding to its lineup of offerings next year with fertilizers, nutrients, and other products applied in the soil.