America Runs on Phosphate
America’s farmers are the best in the world — and phosphate from Florida will help them grow more crops to feed a growing—and hungry—population. In fact, the world is counting on Florida phosphate to help feed 9 billion people by 2050.
Phosphate products are the backbone of global food production. Approximately half of the global supply comes from Florida, which helps farmers grow more food on less land. That’s good for the environment, good for the economy, and essential for a growing world.
Dennis Carlton, a rancher in Hillsborough County says phosphate products have been essential to his crops.
“Without a doubt, farms would grow fewer crops without these products,” said Mr. Dennis Carlton. “It’s rewarding to know that the crops we grow make their way to grocery stores and kitchen tables across the county.”
Made in Florida phosphate products support sustainable farming practices by promoting nutrient-rich soil that reduces the need for larger farms, which means more agricultural land can be set aside for conservation.
“Farmers and ranchers are having to feed more and more people every year using less available agricultural land,” continued Mr. Carlton. “In the future, America will need to grow more food, not less. Florida phosphate allows us to grow safe and nutritious products with excellence.”
The phosphate industry in Florida provides good-paying jobs and contributes significantly to local and global economics. Ensuring the industry’s ability to operate is essential for economic stability in the Sunshine State.
The global demand for crops has a huge, positive impact on Floridians’ livelihoods. Just at Port Tampa Bay alone, phosphate is the largest export product, supporting a significant part of economic activity. Statewide, the economic footprint is massive, supporting more than 13,000 jobs, nearly $1 billion in income and wages, and $2.9 billion in economic output.
Without a strong, domestic source of phosphate, America would become more reliant on global competitors like Russia to grow crops and feed our families.
“When America relies on other countries to fulfill our agricultural needs, the results have always been detrimental to Florida agriculture and the economy,” said Gary Reeder, a fourth generation farmer from Manatee County. “Phosphate products are essential to farmers and Florida is one of the few places left in the country, let alone the world, that can provide farmers with high quality and economical products to help grow crops.”