The five-day closure of two railway crossings on the Texas-Mexico border caused widespread economic repercussions, including disruptions of grain shipments that impacted farms and agribusinesses all the way to Iowa and beyond. 

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency suspended train traffic at border bridges in El Paso and Eagle Pass Dec. 18 and reassigned staff to help the U.S. Border Patrol process the surging numbers of migrants. The bridges reopened on the afternoon of Dec. 22.

Union Pacific said the two locations represent 45% of its cross-border business. The closings also affected BNSF Railway train shipments. Upon the resumption of rail traffic, Union Pacific said it would restore normal operations as quickly as possible as it worked through the five-day backlog of shipments at the border.

In the immediate...