How precision feeding with Hustler EzFeed silage wagon transformed a New Zealand pasture-based dairy farm

Published 26th October 2023
New Zealand

When it’s time to feed your herd, having the right tools can make a world of difference. That’s why we’re here to explore the features and benefits of the Hustler EzFeed silage wagon, as shared by Tui Hongara, an experienced seasoned dairy farmer at Sisam & Sons Ltd, New Zealand. Watch the video to find out more about Tui’s story!

We had the privilege to visit a flourishing operation, Sisam & Sons Ltd, a large family-owned dairy, sheep, beef, and forestry property located near Taneatua, in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand.

Sisam’s dairy system is predominantly pasture-based with supplements of grass silage, PKE (Palm Kernel Extract), maize silage and cereal based meal being used. 2,200 cows are wintered and milked through four sheds, three 40-aside herringbones and one 54 bail rotary. A herd manager and two independent contractors are employed for the daily running of each shed. The cows are Jersey x Friesian cross with an emphasis on breeding for facial eczema tolerance.¬†

There, we met Tui Hongara who’s working at shed #4 and is in charge of milking and feeding out 700 cows through about 300 hectares. Tui is a dedicated dairy farmer with a decade of experience under his belt.¬† “I’ve been farming for my whole life, so my dad was a dairy farmer and then I just picked up on it. I’ve been dairy farming for about 10 years now,” Tui told us. With a robust milking routine and a commitment to quality care for his cattle, Tui’s day starts early and is filled with the rhythm of the farm.

ūüí° Did you know? Our international readers may be interested in knowing that according to local¬†MńĀori traditions (MńĀori are the¬†indigenous¬†Polynesian people¬†of mainland¬†New Zealand –¬†Aotearoa), the Bay of Plenty was the landing point of several¬†migration canoes that brought MńĀori settlers to New Zealand. Early MńĀori settlement also gave rise to many of the town and city names used today. The first recorded European contact came when¬†James Cook¬†sailed through the Bay of Plenty in 1769. Cook noted the abundance of food supplies, in comparison to¬†Poverty Bay further back along the eastern coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The number of dairy cows and heifers in milk in the Bay of Plenty region is estimated today at about 210,000.

In the past, Tui and his team had to rely on guesswork. The buckets they used held roughly 100 kgs of dry matter, and estimating the right quantity was often a challenge. To streamline their feeding process, Tui decided it was time to explore new solutions. After all, you don’t achieve excellence in farming by leaving things to chance.

The search for the ideal feeding equipment led Tui and his team to W.J. Dippie, a trusted local Hustler dealership in Taneatua. They sought guidance to ensure they made the right choice. It was here that they were introduced to the Hustler EzFeed Wagon. “We asked them what we were looking for and then they said the Hustler feedout wagon was the best choice for us,” Tui said.¬†

The choice was settled on a Hustler EzFeed SM130, a premium-quality silage wagon designed for efficient feeding. It features a robust build, easy maintenance, and precise feeding capabilities. This wagon is designed to save time and resources by accurately measuring and distributing feed – thanks to the optional Feedlink‚ĄĘ Scales, making it an excellent choice for dairy farmers and livestock operations.

 

“I think Hustler is good because it’s quite a solid piece of machinery”

 

For a farmer like Tui, durability and reliability are non-negotiable. The rigors of farm life demand equipment that can stand the test of time. After a year of using the Hustler EzFeed Wagon, Tui’s verdict on its build quality is resoundingly positive. “Throughout my years, I’ve come across quite a few equipment. We’ve been using it for about a year now and I think Hustler is good because it’s quite a solid piece of machinery,” Tui added.¬†

The Hustler EzFeed Wagon is designed to tackle the demanding nature of dairy farming head-on. It’s not just another piece of equipment; it’s a dependable partner in the daily routine. With the peace of mind that comes from knowing your tools can handle the workload, Tui can focus on what truly matters: caring for his herd and ensuring their dietary needs are met with precision.

One of the standout features of the Hustler EzFeed Wagon is its ability to deliver precise feeding. For Tui and his team, this means no more guesswork. They can accurately feed the right amount without wasting a morsel of feed. The days of overfeeding or underfeeding are behind them.

 

“The main benefit for us is you can accurately feed out the correct amount instead of guessing”

 

Tui emphasizes the importance of this feature, especially when he points out that they are currently feeding about 400 kgs of dry matter per day. “Before our bucket was 100 kg of dry matter, so we were roughly guessing. So now we can bang on the mark and feed out what we need to and not waste extra feed,” Tui detailed.

The ability to adjust the feed-out speed and bed speed gives farmers like Tui the flexibility to cater to their specific needs. “You can adjust the feed out speed and also the bed speed to suit however you want to feed out,” Tui explained.

 

“It’s easy maintenance, the grease points are easy to get to”

 

With the Hustler EzFeed Wagon, it’s about doing things your way, not the other way around. Moreover, when it’s time for maintenance, the design of the wagon makes it a breeze. Easy access to grease points and straightforward tightening of chains and beds means less downtime and more time spent farming. “It’s easy maintenance, the grease points are easy to get to, it’s easy to tighten the chains and easy to tighten the beds,” Tui noted.

 

“During peak feeding, we would be doing two to three loads a day but with this Hustler wagon we can cut it down to one”

 

The capacity of a feeding wagon is paramount on a busy dairy farm. Tui notes that with their previous equipment, peak feeding periods required two to three loads a day. However, since the introduction of the Hustler EzFeed Wagon, they’ve managed to cut this down to just one load.¬†

The benefits of this improvement are not just about efficiency but also cost-effectiveness. By reducing the number of loads required, Tui and his team have saved valuable time and resources. The Hustler EzFeed Wagon proves that innovation in equipment design can significantly impact the bottom line of a dairy farm.

 

“I’d recommend Hustler because it doesn’t take a rock of science to figure out how to use one”

 

Tui’s experience with the Hustler EzFeed Wagon has been overwhelmingly positive. He not only praises its robust construction and feeding precision but also highlights how user-friendly it is. In his words, “it doesn’t take a rocket of science to figure out how to use one.”

The equipment’s sturdiness and thoughtful design further reinforce Tui’s belief that it’s a wise choice. Tui’s experience demonstrates that the Hustler EzFeed Wagon is capable of tackling the challenges of dairy farming head-on, and its ease of use makes it accessible to farmers of varying experience levels. “The equipment is quite sturdy and you can tell by the design and the components that it’s a good wagon. You’re able to take it up hills and around corners at quite an easy pace,” Tui said.

Tui further underscores the importance of the scales integrated into the wagon. These scales offer a significant benefit, as they allow for the precise allocation of feed to different herds. By avoiding waste, it’s possible to save on feed costs while ensuring that each group of cattle receives the exact nourishment they require. It’s a win-win situation for both the farm and the herd.

The dairy farming journey, with its early mornings and dedicated labor, is demanding enough without having to struggle with cumbersome equipment. Tui acknowledges that the Hustler EzFeed Wagon has made a profound impact on their daily operations. It not only streamlines the feeding process but also alleviates the guesswork and inefficiencies that were once part of the routine. “The scales are a major benefit to that wagon because you’re not wasting feed and you’re able to allocate feed to each of your herds precisely,” Tui said.

 

¬†“It just makes everything in life a lot easier”

 

“It just makes everything in life a lot easier,” Tui concluded. In the world of dairy farming, where every minute counts, having equipment that simplifies tasks and enhances productivity is invaluable. The Hustler EzFeed Wagon does precisely that, leaving farmers like Tui with more time to focus on the well-being of their cattle and the overall success of their farm.

As Tui’s experience showcases, choosing the right equipment can make all the difference in a dairy farmer’s daily life. The Hustler EzFeed Wagon has certainly made life easier at Sisam’s, and it stands as a compelling example of how innovative design and robust construction can revolutionize the dairy farming experience. If you’re a dairy farmer in search of a feeding solution that offers accuracy, reliability, and efficiency, take a page from Tui’s book: consider the Hustler EzFeed Wagon.

 

Explore the Hustler EzFeed SM130 silage wagon full specifications

Length: 7050 mm | 277.5 in
Width: 2800 mm | 110.2 in
Height: 2710 mm | 106.6 in
Loading Height: 2600 mm | 102.3 in
Loose Silage (load-level): 13 m³ | 459 ft³
Loose Silage (heaped load): 14 m³ | 494.37 ft³
Maximum Load: 10,000 kg | 22,046 lb
Tyres: 400 / 60 x 15.5 Flotation Grip Tread
Axle: Tandem Walking Beam
Brakes: Optional 2 or 4 wheel braking
Guards: Standard removable HD guards
Mudguards: Sloping mudguards to reduce material build-up
Remote greasing: Standard
Ladder: Standard
Weigh Scales: Optional Feedlink weighing and feed management system
Floors (Bed Floor): 15mm (0.6 in) HD Puck Board
Chains (Bed / Elevator / Conveyor): Twin 12,000 lb Roller Chains / Twin 12,000 lb Roller Chains / Twin 12,000 lb Roller Chains
Feed bars (Bed / Elevator / Conveyor): 65 x 35 RHS / 65 x 35 RHS / 50 x 25 RHS
Drive system (Bed / Elevator / Conveyor): Sealed Reduction Gearbox / Direct Drive / Direct Drive
Drive Sprockets: High-tensile (Bisalloy¬ģ) drive sprockets welded on the shaft (without bushes)
Hydraulics required: 1 x double acting
Hydraulic Flow: 50-70 L/min (80 L/min maximum) | 13.2-18.5 gal/min (21.1 gal/min maximum)
Hydraulic Pressure: 2610-2900 psi | 180-200 bar
Conveyor: TwinFeed LH & RH side discharge, 1000mm (39.4‚ÄĚ) wide chain/slat
Jack: 80 mm | 3.1 in 2-speed screw, with quick adjustment. Designed strong enough for use as quick hitch stand
Towing Eye Size: 50 mm | 2 in
Tailgate: Auto-release, removable (without tools)

 

Do you want to know more about Hustler product range? Contact us today, you’ll be glad you did!

 

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