Canadian National Railway announced Feb. 14 that it has reached an agreement with the government of Canada and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to

CN announces port infrastructure project at Vancouver

Canada’s largest railway company will twin a four-kilometre section of track at the Port of Vancouver, a move that will address rail congestion issues, reduce container dwell times and improve the flow of freight traffic at Canada’s largest marine port. Canadian National Railway announced Feb. 14 that it has reached an agreement with the government […] Read more

Prairie grain trains are expected to increase in length and weight as railway companies seek to increase operational efficiencies and move more cargo with fewer trains.  |  File photo

Brake failure possible in deadly derailment

Cold temperatures, snow-covered tracks and avalanches can cause winter shipping problems for the rail system

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board released some details last week stemming from the deadly derailment of a westbound Canadian Pacific freight train in a mountainous area near Field, B.C. On Feb. 4, Canadian Pacific Railway train 301 — a 112-car, three-locomotive grain train destined for Vancouver — derailed at Mile 130.6 of the Laggan subdivision, killing […] Read more

Matt Enns of Maker’s Malt in Rosthern, Sask., inspects a recent batch of malt made with Bow barley. Maker’s has been malting locally grown barley since early 2018. Finished malt is sold to craft brewers, mostly in Saskatchewan.  |  Brian Cross photo

Promising barley variety receives exposure

In the world of malting and brewing, many promising new barley varieties never see the light of day. That’s because big brewing companies are often reluctant to change their brewing recipes and try something new. Matt Enns, a micro-maltster based in central Saskatchewan, is doing his part to ensure that one of Saskatchewan’s most promising […] Read more


Proper diagnosis is important when treating lameness, which is why good pen checkers can be invaluable to a feedlot operation.  |  File photo

Lameness control can boost feedlot efficiency

Pen checkers can play a pivotal role when it comes to limiting diseases in feedlot cattle associated with lameness

Lameness in beef cattle can be painful, not only for the affected animal but also for a feedlot operator’s bottom line. That’s why diagnosing lameness early, treating it decisively and taking steps to prevent it in the first place are so important. Dr. Phil Klassen, a Coaldale, Alta., veterinarian and expert on feedlot lameness, said […] Read more

CN on pace for record grain handlings

Revenues at Canadian National Railway were up 10 percent in 2018 as the company reported strong fourth quarter volumes of grain, crude oil, intermodal cargoes and other commodities. Full year revenues at Canada’s largest railway company were reported at $14.3 billion in 2018, up from $13 billion the previous year. In the three-month period ending […] Read more


Winter wheat production still declining

Winter wheat plantings in Western Canada continued their downward trend last fall, but growers and researchers say it’s unlikely that acreage will go any lower. Statistics Canada estimated total prairie plantings at 250,000 acres in 2018, down from 335,000 acres in 2017 and 535,000 acres in 2016. A decade ago, total prairie plantings surpassed 1.5 […] Read more

Providence sells majority stake in Columbia

Alberta-based Providence Grain Group (PGG) has sold a majority interest in Columbia Containers Ltd., a Vancouver-based container transloading company that handles pulse crops, barley and other agricultural crops. In a Feb. 11 news release, Providence said it has sold a 51 percent share in Columbia to Timber Investments Ltd., a privately owned investment company located […] Read more

Train’s hand brakes focus of ministerial order

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has issued a ministerial order mandating that handbrakes must be applied to all trains that are stopped on a mountain grade after an emergency application of air brakes. The ministerial order, put in place under provisions under the Railway Safety Act, takes effect immediately and will remain in place “as […] Read more


The Canadian Transportation Agency’s investigation seeks to determine if rail freight embargoes that were put in place by Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway constituted discriminatory action against certain shippers or commodities,  |  Brian Cross photo

Poor rail co-ordination targeted in Vancouver

Canadian Transportation Agency holds hearing to look for answers after congestion issues emerge in city’s rail network

Vancouver — The Canadian Transportation Agency concluded two days of hearings in Vancouver last week, aimed at learning more about the causes of a railway snafu that delayed rail car deliveries, prompted a series of freight embargoes and resulted in undetermined financial losses for some shippers. The hearings are part of an ongoing federal investigation […] Read more

Jed and Kathy Williams, leafcutter bee and alfalfa seed producers from Imperial, Sask., stand in their warehouse that contains 9,000 nesting boards filled with bee larvae. This winter, the couple will extract more than 100 million larvae, which will be packaged and sold or incubated and used as pollinators on the Williams farm.  |  Brian Cross photo

Seed farm built on hard work, perseverance

On the Farm: Sask. couple weathers downturn in alfalfa seed business while expanding their leafcutter bee operation

IMPERIAL, Sask. — Selling products into a niche agriculture market is often about risk and reward. The rewards are obvious when market conditions are favourable and the risks become evident  when supply and demand fundamentals take a turn in the wrong direction. Alfalfa seed and leafcutter bee producers Jed and Kathy Williams from Imperial, Sask., […] Read more