The FAQ On Fertilizer
The Washington Post's WonkBlog has a standout look at the fertilizer business. One choice tidbit: The U.S. imports far more fertilizer ($13 billion worth) than it exports ($4.5 billion). And the biggest suppliers? Canada, Russia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Fertilizer production comes with some occasional risks. The ammonium nitrate that’s commonly used for synthetic fertilizer can explode if ignited at very high temperatures. That’s fairly rare, but it does happen — there have been at least 17 major explosions worldwide since 1921. So here’s a basic overview of the industry — how big it is, how common explosions are, how often plants are inspected: