Grasses & Grains

Grains have been the feedstock of human civilizations since ancient times. Canadian grains and seed crops are challenged by long cold winters and shorter growing seasons, forcing the development of hardy varieties which have other great features. Canadian wheat, for example, is very sought-after and is the source of the best Italian pasta.

Ripe Wheat Crop, north of Regina

grain elevator in the Prairies

Seed Crops

Some of these seeds are grown for eating (as seeds) and some are processed into other derivative products (mustard) and some are processed into useful oils (sofflower, sunflower, canola, and corn), and some of these oils (notably corn) are mixed into automotive gasoline to reduce their carbon content.

Saskatchewan Pool Grain Elevator, near Saskatoon

Grain Elevators

These tall wooden structures used to be found along railway lines across Western Canada every 50 miles or so (as far as a farmer’s cart could drive in a day), and were magnets for prarrie rural economic development and towns. Due to age and fire, these grain elevators have been replaced by metal towers and (because of trucks in the past century) placed much futher apart.