By Stephen Cadogan
Irish farmers who use Hustler Equipment machines to feed out bales will be reassured to know the company has tested their products on frozen forage beyond the Arctic Circle.
Things didn’t get near arctic conditions in Ireland last week. In the far northern mid-winter, the sun never rises, and temperatures can go as low as minus 45C.
One of the complications is that bales stored outside through the winter are frozen solid. Help for dealing with such material has come from an unlikely source, on the other side of the world.
Based in New Zealand, Hustler Equipment has proved its multinational credentials by testing their new Chainless X2400 bale feeder on the “roof of the world”, in Lapland.
The kind of weather Ireland got last week pales into insignificance beside conditions in Lapland. Farming has to go on there too regardless of the weather, and reindeer farming is a good business for the farmers in the region.
Bringing extra winter feed to the reindeer herds in the wilds of lapland during the harsh winters requires rugged machinery.
Congestion and competition at feeding need to be reduced as much as possible, hence the preference to have long windrows of forage, up to one kilometre long so each reindeer can graze at its ease.
Hustler Equipment have entered the local market, offering farmers a tractor mounted bale feeder that can feed out frozen bales.
Previously, only large machines were available to do this. Hustler’s Chainless X2400 bale feeder performed well, at only one third of the cost or less of bigger machines previously used.