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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Helping Address Supply Chain Shortage of Fertilizer

LONDON — The Ontario government is taking aim at supply chain issues that are causing fertilizer shortages by investing in 10 new and innovative projects as part of the $2 million Fertilizer Challenge. Funding through the Fertilizer Challenge is supporting Ontario made solutions to increase the availability of fertilizer options, alternatives, and technology, ensuring that farmers have the tools they need so that Ontarians can rely on a safe, stable and growing food supply.

“Our government will always do what it takes to support Ontario’s farmers, that’s why we developed the Fertilizer Challenge to help mitigate fertilizer supply chain issues,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Projects across the province are underway to provide farmers with fertilizer resources developed and produced right here in Ontario.”

Following consultations with farmers and the agri-food sector, Ontario launched the Fertilizer Challenge to address ongoing supply chain challenges, while promoting innovation in the province’s agri-food sector. Through the Challenge, the province is investing in Ontario made fertilizer projects that will be available and in market by the spring of 2024. Enabling more domestic production will reduce the province’s reliance on foreign fertilizers and further solidify the stability of the agricultural industry.

One of the 10 projects currently underway through the Fertilizer Challenge is in St. Thomas, Ontario. CRF AgriTech LP is a new innovative fertilizer manufacturing company with a patented coating that can be applied to a wide range of fertilizers. This product can reduce nutrient application rates while maintaining and improving current crop yields and reduce dependence on imported fertilizer. This unique and new form of combination and coated fertilizer is on track to begin production this spring.

“The Fertilizer Challenge is supporting the manufacturing of Ontario made fertilizer options, alternatives and technology for our farmers,” said Rob Flack, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. “This will mean farmers will spend less on transportation and procurement costs for foreign fertilizers and can concentrate on what they do best – continuing to competitively grow the crops Ontarians rely on every day.”

Significant innovations like this, together with additional investments and opportunities the province has made to support farmers, will help support the province’s position as a world leader in food production and ensure Ontarians have a safe and stable supply of food.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s agri-food sector supported more than 750,000 jobs in Ontario last year and contributed $47.6 billion to the provincial economy.

  • In 2021, Ontario farmers spent over $1.2 billion on commercial fertilizers and lime, which was applied to over 6.8 million acres of farmland.

  • The Fertilizer Challenge is delivered by Bioenterprise Canada, a national non-profit business accelerator that engages Ontario-based companies in funding opportunities that is bringing new and innovative products to market, helping Ontario’s food supply chain and agricultural practices become more efficient and resilient.


"Ontario’s agricultural sector is a hotbed for innovation. We must leverage Canada’s in-house expertise and examine the methods we use to grow and protect our food, while also protecting the planet and food security obligations to address the most prominent issues we face as a global community. The Fertilizer Challenge will increase Ontario’s sustainability both environmentally and economically as we develop home-grown solutions to address the increasing demand for green, effective food production; solutions that are less reliant on imports and more precise and efficient in their application. I look forward to seeing the impact of these projects in the critical years to come."

- Dave Smardon CEO, Bioenterprise Canada

"CRF AgriTech is excited to be recognized by BioEnterprise and OMAFRA for our new controlled-release fertilizer technology that will be manufactured at our facility in St. Thomas. Our fertilizer manufacturing plant’s proximity to key agricultural areas will make these innovative products easily accessible to Canadian growers. Through the production of PurYield, a polymer-coated fertilizer that reduces nutrient losses, CRF AgriTech provides new solutions for today’s growers to optimize crop performance, increase their profitability and focus on environmental sustainability."

- Mike Pastir General Manager, CRF AgriTech LP

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