NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Farmers around North Dakota agree that good fertilizer is both costly and hard to come by.
But some lawmakers say something doesn’t smell right about a plan to move half a billion dollars into a new fund that hopes to eventually build a new fertilizer plant in North Dakota.
State Ag commissioner Doug Goehring says it’ll likely cost a few billion dollars to build a plant, but the state would also need to attract large investors.
If passed, House Bill 1369 would transfer $500 million from the state’s Strategic Investment and Improvements Fund to the Fertilizer Development Fund starting in July.
The goal of the plant is to convert natural gas to nitrogen, which could be used by farmers in the state.
“North Dakota on average consumes about 2.5 million tons of fertilizer every year,” Goehring said. “And roughly 1.5 million tons of that being nitrogen. However, only about 20% of our nitrogen is actually produced here in North Dakota.”
“There’s an interest in lower carbon commodities in the world and whether you like it or not, that’s just the world we live in,” North Dakota Grain Growers Association Vice-President Ed Kessel said.
Bismarck representative Mike Nathe argues before moving forward, he wants lawmakers to work more closely with the state department of commerce.