New Zealand dairy farmer found the perfect double bale processor to feed out silage bales
Matthew Jones is a New Zealand dairy farmer. Recently, he decided to move away from pit silage and switched to silage bales/baleage. As he needed a solution to feed out his silage bales to his herd, he decided to invest in a Hustler trailed Chainless TX205 double bale feeder. Since then, he has never looked back! Find out more about Matthew’s operation in the video below!
Matthew Jones is the owner and operator of Franui Farms in Pohangina Valley, a small rural community in the Manawatū-Whanganui region of New Zealand, located along the foot of the Ruahine Range, and is primarily farming land. Farming in the area varies from sheep and cattle to crops of maize and ‘chow’.
The 345-acre operation consists of 220 dairy cows, and Matthew also raises and rears the stockers. A wee while ago, Matthew decided to move away from pit silage and switched to silage bales/baleage. Pit silage wasn’t the ideal system for Matthew because it didn’t fit his grazing management programme, having to shut up too much land in anticipation of the grass silage harvesting.
However, changing the way he operates meant renewing his gear, now Matthew needed a machine to feedout 500-600 bales of silage per year.
Matthew purchased a Hustler trailed Chainless TX205 bale feeder from his local dealer Mech Agriculture in Palmerston North.
“I went for the TX205 because of the structure of the machine, it’s quite heavily built,” Matthew said.
“I would say it’s a fantastic machine”
The Chainless TX205 is built to handle larger bales and has an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, achieved by using high tensile steel and larger section members. Hustler has done its homework and put the steel where it’s needed, not in case it’s needed. The machine has a great ground clearance allowing to be operated on rugged terrain if necessary. With the clean underside of the chassis, there is nothing to damage or get snagged if the terrain is particularly rough and/or hilly.
“They’ve obviously made improvements to it again, I found it excellent”
The Chainless trailed square and round bale feeders are self-loading, suitable for feeding out any bale, round or square, and it maximises feed use. The Chainless TX205 can carry two bales at a time (one in the feeding cradle and one on the tynes at the back) meaning less trips to the field!
Plus, the Hustler Chainless TX205, unlike other loading systems, is equipped with ‘Total Control Loading‘ meaning that you can gently and accurately rest your bale on the platform rather than just dumping it and causing premature wear or breaking parts after removing the plastic wrap or the net, catching any loose feed.
“The rear-mounted loading system I find excellent really,” Matthew detailed. “You can have it come up any position you like and then have the bale sitting over the table, and cut the net off, and then put the bale down and it won’t crash and break anything,” Matthew continued. “I’ve heard stories of other people’s bale feeders having that happen, but not with the TX205, so there’s no issue there. And then yeah, you just basically let it come down and then go back again. And then you can pick the next bale up or carry on feeding out.”
The rotor system on Hustler seems to be very good.
Unlike typical bale unrollers that use only gravity, the Hustler Chainless system applies aggressive yet even pressure on the bale thanks to a combination of a platform and a couple of rotors. “The rotor system on Hustler seems to be very good,” Matthew said. With this unique shape and design, instead of unrolling the bale in a thick mat, it actually stretches the hay, to make it more fluffy and palatable for cattle to eat. Watch this 60-second video to learn more about the Chainless system.
To ensure that hay drops outside the wheel tracks and to avoid the hay being flattened into the mud, an Hypaflow™ wiper panel is located just under the top rotor. Just in case, the panel is equipped with a quick-release latch that releases the wiper panel for easy cleaning but “generally, after feeding bales you don’t even have to worry about unclipping the wiper to get any stuff that’s caught in – it just all peels off itself,” Matthew explained.
“We’ve never had any problem whatsoever”
As training staff is essential but can be quite time-consuming, Hustler has always in mind to develop machines that are easy to use for any operator. Matthew’s staff “finds it easy to operate, I showed them what lever to pull and off they go!” These machines are also well known to farmers around the world for their low maintenance requirements. In addition, as they are built to last and have no consumable parts, the risk of breakage is very limited. “The machine’s been great. Never broken down. And even if I needed parts I can get them within a day,” Matthew said.
“It’s definitely a good machine. So I’d recommend it to whoever’s interested in one,” Matthew concluded.
Do you want to know more about Hustler bale feeder range? Contact us today, you’ll be glad you did!