Sask. straw chopper manufacturer’s plant destroyed

A Saskatoon-area manufacturer of straw choppers for combines is “searching for a temporary home” after its plant burned down in a Monday morning fire.

Redekop Manufacturing “suffered a catastrophic fire” starting at about 8:30 a.m. Monday at its plant on the Yellowhead Highway just northwest of the city, general manager Dean Mayerle said that day in a letter to customers and suppliers.

The company, which makes the MAV (Maximum Air Velocity) straw chopper now factory-installed on some major new makes and models of combines, and also makes cob harvester systems for corn growers, said its 35,000-square foot plant “is expected to be a complete loss.”

“Fortunately, the fire was noticed soon enough to get everyone out, and so no one was seriously hurt,” Mayerle wrote. Saskatoon’s StarPhoenix newspaper on Tuesday quoted area RCMP as saying the fire’s origin does not appear suspicious, but the cause of the fire and the total property damage were not yet known.

Mayerle wrote that the company now plans to “begin the rebuilding phase,” get the company’s computer servers set up and “determine the next course of action.”

The company said it hopes to soon be able to confirm orders that were in mid-process at the time of the fire, contact customers and work with them to help get orders filled on time.

Redekop has made “residue management” equipment for combines since 1985 and bills itself as the “leading supplier of straw chopper technology to combine manufacturers,” having placed its chopper units on over 25,000 combines worldwide.

The company’s MAV units generate air speeds of up to 190 km/h to blow straw and chaff uniformly across the chopper’s cutter bar, and allow farmers to adjust the width of the chaff’s spread to suit field conditions.

The company also produces two models of corn cob harvesters and a companion chase cart for its H165 harvester unit.

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