A man from Salina is turning what could have been wasted into profit through two companies established after retirement.
Steve Ade retired after 29 years at the Salina Fire Department. He founded Big Horse Hay at 1214 W. Water Well about 12 years ago because he was bored , Named it six Belgian draught horses, these horses have been left on the battlefield. Family farm near plaster.
The company buys and packs the wheat straw left in the field after harvest.
Ade sells some straw and hay to horse farms, mushroom farms and dairy farms in the Chicago area.
He also sold some of them to companies that produce erosion control products (mostly on the east and west coasts).
Ade once told his erosion control customers that they should open a factory in Kansas or at least in the Midwest.
He said: "We are sitting in a unique place."
He said that central Kansas has the best straw in the country, and there are many more.
However, none of his customers are willing to spend capital to open factories.
A new joint venture
Then, a company in California went bankrupt.
Steve worked with his Derby brother Larry Ade to form Kansas Erosion Products, which acquired the California-based company. Larry Ade said that they moved all the goods to Salina at once. The company's office is located at 1215 W. Water Well, with Big Horse Hay, and the manufacturing plant is located at 3600 Airport Road.
The Kansas Erosion Products Company now produces blankets and wattles for use by government and other entities and construction companies to prevent erosion of ditches, roads, and other construction sites. Blankets can also be used to hold freshly planted seeds in place.
Steve said: "We also provide straw for government projects." Grass blankets can help the mountainous area after the fire recover by keeping the soil in place.
2 erosion products
The erosion blanket is made by stitching thin straw to the jute backing using a 140-needle machine. Support comes from Indonesia.
Standard blankets are 8 or 16 feet in width and 112 or 564 feet in length. Some customers specify that coconut fiber from Sri Lanka is added to the straw. Larry Ade said that one straw bale can make about 25 blankets.
The fence tube is 9 or 12 inches wide and 25 feet long with straw. For transportation, they are rolled into circular mats, and then stacked and shipped as semi-finished products.
Steve Ade said: "We buy straw from local farmers within 60 miles of Salina.
Use local straw
He said that the company bundles up straw, about 20,000 acres a year.
Those amber waves without grains were transported from the sea to the shining sea, from California to Georgia, and from Texas to North Dakota.
The brothers distribute about 20 half loads of straw, 7 to 8 loads of blankets and 3 to 5 loads of thorns every week.
Kansas Erosion Products has entered its third year, and it grows like wheat in the spring of Kansas. Larry Adler said this is one of the few companies that produce straw erosion products between Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains.
The company uses about 40,000 rectangular bales of wheat straw each year, stored in four locations near Salina. Steve Adler said that the brothers have enough straw to last until the next harvest. Some other suppliers ran out of straw in March or April.
Currently, the brothers employ 29 employees in two shifts five days a week.
They ordered another blanket machine from Germany, and when it arrived in early 2018, they expected to hire another 10 to 12 people.
Steve said that maybe more straw is needed.
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