Main street America can benefit from quantum computing

Republican Randy Feenstra serves as the U.S. representative for Iowa’s 4th congressional district.

Republican Randy Feenstra serves as the U.S. representative for Iowa’s 4th congressional district.

Quantum computing is an intangible phenomenon that often elicits images of supercomputers and spaceships. However, the world of quantum is vast and its potential is unlimited, particularly for our rural communities and main street businesses. 

From fertilizer production to materials manufacturing, quantum computing has the power to lower input costs for our farmers, improve energy storage and battery technologies and produce safer medications for patients.

This week, I reintroduced the Quantum in Practice Act – which I first led in the 117th Congress – to ensure that our main streets, farmers and small businesses can realize the real benefits of quantum computing, not just in theory, but in practice. This legislation would amend the National Quantum Initiative Act to specifically include quantum molecular simulations and modeling in federal scientific research.

Ultimately, this simple legislative inclusion would allow our nation’s brightest scientific minds to study chemical reactions and material structures with impressive accuracy, and therefore, improve outcomes and apply their new knowledge to every sector of our economy, including agriculture, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. 

While this legislation will unlock new opportunities in many economic sectors, it will be particularly beneficial to our agricultural community. Currently, according to The Fertilizer Institute, the United States only produces 7% of the global fertilizer supply, which makes our farmers and producers reliant on foreign fertilizer to feed and fuel the world. 

Between supply chain bottlenecks and record inflation, we need to expand fertilizer production in Iowa and nationwide to lower input costs and ensure that our farmers have access to quality, affordable fertilizer when they need it. 

One approach – which could be used to develop synthetic fertilizers without the high energy and material costs of current methods – includes modeling the nitrogen fixation process utilized by bacteria to create the next generation of fertilizers. Fortunately, my legislation will help us advance this research, discover new fertilizer production methods and end our reliance on foreign fertilizer, which is vital to our national, economic and food security.

Thanks to scientific ingenuity, there is boundless opportunity for our rural communities to harness the power of quantum computing to strengthen our agricultural sector, streamline fertilizer production and enhance our way of life in Iowa. 

In Congress, I will continue to work with my colleagues to invest in rural America, support our family farmers and encourage cutting-edge research that protects the productivity, profitability and international competitiveness of American agriculture.

We are a government together, and your thoughts and opinions matter to me. Please contact my office at Feenstra.House.Gov or by phone at 202-225-4426 if I can ever be of assistance. I am proud to represent our families, farmers, main street businesses and rural communities in Congress.