WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2016 - Donald Trump is slated to make what’s billed as a major speech on immigration this evening in Phoenix. The speech comes as Donald Trump Jr. has raised new questions about what his father would do about illegal immigrants already in the country. 

In an interview with CNN, the younger Trump denied that his father had softened his position on deporting all undocumented workers: “He didn’t change his stance on anything.” Trump, however, in recent days has talked primarily about deporting illegal immigrants who have committed crimes, which isn’t a particularly controversial position. 

During a speech in Iowa last weekend the candidate laid out a set of immigration policy priorities that he’s been pushing since the beginning of the campaign, including a border wall and mandatory E-Verify. 

Farm groups would like to hear how Trump will address the sector’s need for access to foreign workers. “Our biggest concern is as it’s always been: We want accessibility to a legal workforce. However we need to make that happen, let’s go make that happen,” said Bob Young of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley said he hopes Trump will make clear today that he wants to take a piecemeal approach to passing immigration reforms rather than the comprehensive strategy Democrats have demanded. Grassley, R-Iowa, says a new president could make it easier for farmers to get workers by removing red tape from the H-2A program. But Grassley says Congress and the president need to ensure border security before it’s politically feasible for lawmakers to take additional steps that farmers want. 

USDA offices reopening after threats. USDA’s research facilities in Beltsville, Md., and offices in Colorado, North Carolina and West Virginia will reopen today after being closed for a day while the FBI investigated anonymous email threats

Offices in Hamden, Conn., and one site in West Virginia are to remain closed while additional security enhancements are put in place, a USDA spokesman says. The department has not provided any new information on the nature of the threats. The spokesman says USDA continues to work with local and federal law enforcement to assess the seriousness of the threats.


No farmer needed, at least not in the cab. The farm economy may not be booming as it was a few years ago, but that has not stopped development of innovative new products that can reduce labor needs and improve on-farm productivity. Case in point: Case IH unveiled its autonomous tractor concept at the 2016 Farm Progress Show this week in Boone, Iowa. It’s one of many new innovations on display at one of the nation’s largest outdoor farm equipment show. (Photo by Spencer Chase)

Bayer exec: EU regulatory environment is bad and could get worse. Bayer’s top science official says the European Union regulatory environment is more than just an inconvenience for products. He says it’s making the “very business of crop protection a risk right now.” 

Adrian Percy, the global head of research and development for Bayer, spoke to Agri-Pulse’s Spencer Chase on the sidelines of the Farm Progress Show. Percy says the two-tiered approval system in the EU is being pushed to “unreasonable limits” and that “science is being lost a little.” Getting approval for farm chemicals and biotech traits requires working with both the EU as well as individual member states. 

The Brexit vote could make the remaining 27 EU states even more difficult to deal with, Percy says. The United Kingdom has been a moderating influence on EU regulation of agricultural technology, Percy says. 

Percy said farmers need to get more involved in making their case to EU regulators. “Farmers need to have a voice. I think that the public, consumers, and politicians . . . many people trust farmers more than anyone else when it comes to our food supply,” he said. 

Today at the Farm Progress Show, Spencer Chase will be moderating a panel on the farm bill, elections and farmers’ legislative priorities. The panel members will include leaders of the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association and the National Pork Producers Council.

Bird to keep ESA protections. The Fish and Wildlife Service has turned down a request from groups representing building and agriculture interests in California to delist the coastal California gnatcatcher. They argued that the small bird wasn’t a valid subspecies that warranted protection under the Endangered Species Act, but a panel of six experts that studied the issue disagreed. The bird has been listed as threatened since 1993.

He said it.  “If Trump is elected, it obviously isn’t going to go. If Hillary is elected, her campaign manager has already said she’s not for it before or after she gets into office.” - Sen. Chuck Grassley, ruling out the possibility of the Trans-Pacific Partnership being considered in a lame-duck session of Congress. 

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