Immigration and Agriculture – May 17, 2019

Shorthanded, U.S. agriculture hopes for a role in immigration debate

President Trump proposed a “points-based” system on Thursday that would put younger, highly trained, and well-paid workers at the front of the line for legal immigration to the United States. The plan was silent on agricultural labor, but farm groups hope to be part of “a broader dialogue” on immigration.

Missouri bill that would end local control of CAFOs heads to governor’s desk

A bill in Missouri that would eliminate local regulation of CAFOs has passed in the state Senate and House and is headed to the desk of Gov. Mike Parson, who is expected to sign it into law. Opponents of the bill say it favors the interests of the largest livestock farms while exposing communities to greater health and environmental risks.

USDA to test sick or dead hogs for evidence of African swine fever

The highly contagious African swine fever, rampant in China, has never been found in the United States, but the USDA said on Thursday that it will step up its surveillance efforts against the viral disease, which kills pigs but does not harm people.


Glyphosate lawsuits spread to Canada (Western Producer): Bayer faces more than 13,000 lawsuits in U.S. courts alleging its weedkiller glyphosate causes cancer. Now a farmer in Saskatchewan is leading a class action suit against Bayer in Canada.

Did EPA change the rules before court decision? (Reuters): The EPA told an oil refiner that “we are changing our approach” to exempt small-volume refineries from the biofuel mandate at least four months before the August 2017 court decision the EPA says forced it to issue the waivers, claims a biofuels group.

Tariffs boost price of canned food (Bloomberg): U.S. tariffs on imported steel and aluminum are adding to the supermarket price of canned fruits and vegetables, says Del Monte chief executive Greg Longstreet. The company says it will produce more products that don’t come in a can.

Seeking country-of-origin labels on menus (New Food Economy):Louisiana legislators are considering a bill that would require the state’s restaurants to disclose on their menus the origin of the seafood they serve.

Federal leases for Boundary Waters mining (MinnPost): The Interior Department renewed mineral leases held by Twin Metals Minnesota, moving the company closer to developing a controversial copper-nickel mine near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and inside Superior National Forest.

Wait a bit before irrigating (UC-Davis): University researchers say one way growers can stretch water supplies for perennial crops is to delay the first irrigation of the season so the plants can soak up more of the moisture stored in the soil from rainfall.

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