First Year Share Milker Loads 5 Square Bales on Hustler Bale Feeder

Published 6th July 2017
New Zealand

First year out share milking near Woodville, Nick Bertram was advised by friends to invest in good gear up front, to save on running costs. Read on to see what Nick purchased and how he saves himself time…

Nick is milking 450 cows on just 160 hectares, and is feeding between 400-500 round & square bales each year, some being round balage bales and some square hay bales that were carried over from the previous manager. Nick is currently break feeding his cattle and supplementing with dry square hay bales. Watch the video of Nick below to see how to load a bale feeder.


“Everyone said to us, buy good gear when you start

syou don’t have many running costs”


Having a brother who is a mechanic at a Massey Ferguson dealership comes with a few perks, reports Nick, including some low cost servicing which made choosing a Fergy the logical choice, and recommendations on what type of equipment to buy. Nick had previous experience with Hustler gear and found it to be good solid, reliable machinery, so when starting out he invested in a Hustler SL350 Bale feeder and Hustler’s Katipo boom sprayer to cut pro-gibb application costs and extend his milking season. Nick got a package deal through his local Accredited Hustler Dealer, Mech Agriculture.

Keeping Costs in Control

Adding the boom sprayer to his fleet helps Nick keep his production costs in control, with the farm owner paying for the chemical, Nick has no outgoings for spraying which keeps the cost of buttercup control, pro-gibb application and cultivation spraying costs to a bare minimum.  

Nick’s shiny new Katipo 680, with 8 metre spray boom and foam marker arrives on the farm:

Nick Bertram - 20170616_103300-046196-edited.jpg

Saving time and Equipment running costs

When feeding barn-stored dry hay to his cattle on the run-off block, travel time from the barn to the field can add up pretty quickly when running multiple trips, so to save time, Nick is loading 3 square bales on the SL350 bale feeder, and 2 up front on the loader spears so he only needs to make one trip down to the field. When he gets to the field he can disconnect the feeding cradle from the tractor without leaving his seat, upload the 2 extra bales, and feed them one by one into each break. There’s a little more juggling in the field, but it’s saving him a huge amount of travel time. 

How to transport 5 bales on a Hustler bale feeder

Loading up for the next day Nick show us in this video how to load square bales, taking 3 bales with this load. When transporting bales for feed out Nick takes 5, stacking an extra bale on top of the 2 square bales shown on the cradle, carrying a total of 3 bales on the bale feeder, and an extra bale on the front loader just like he pulls them out of the barn in the video: