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Enhancing Operations: Benthem Brothers Dairy Invests in Bazooka Farmstar System

December 12, 2023

Bazooka Banner Benthem Brothers

Benthem Brothers Dairy, located in north central Michigan, has about 3,600 head of cattle across their locations. They farm about 4,000 acres—mostly corn and alfalfa with rye for a cover crop. 

About two years ago, the dairy invested in a full dragline liquid manure system from Bazooka Farmstar. “They came to do the demo about three years ago, and the team was great,” said Daryl Huttenga from Benthem Brothers Dairy. “We did the numbers and getting the dragline system made sense for us.”

The Benthem Brothers workers did their due diligence by looking at other farms in the area and what they had. “We saw other farms that had systems pieced together, but we wanted a full system—everything integrated and working together,” said Huttenga. “We heard a lot of good things about Bazooka Farmstar.”

The dairy went with a 36’ Titan 1 Toolbar, a 44’ Dribble Toolbar, and 2.5 miles of dragline. 

“We like the toolbar setup along with the row units design and how well it has helped in the fields,” said Huttenga. “The whole system has everything we need to make our jobs easier.”

The dairy looked at a few other companies’ toolbars, and Huttenga said they didn’t compare to what Bazooka Farmstar offers. 

Low-till Liquid Manure Operations 

“With the clay ground up here, compaction is a big issue,” he continued. “We were doing tank with custom applicators, which wasn’t ideal for our soil. Now, with the dragline system, we’ve greatly reduced compaction and we don’t have to do any extra tillage passes, especially in the fall. We can dragline and inject and then throw rye on behind it.”

While Benthem Brothers is doing manure injection and getting rye in quickly, farms around them that do tank application are having to apply the manure, work it in, and then remove compaction. “That’s a lot of tank traffic, and it’s often being worked in wet, which means more compaction,” Huttenga said.

Benthem Brothers Dairy Liquid Manure Management

Benefits of a Bazooka Farmstar Liquid Manure System

Benthem Brothers Dairy didn’t make the decision to invest in a Bazooka Farmstar system lightly. They ran the numbers, looked at the costs and benefits, asked around, and worked with the Bazooka Farmstar team on determining the ROI of owning their own manure dragline system

“When we looked at the costs up front, just doing half of our operations with Bazooka Farmstar equipment and the system pays for itself rather quickly,” Huttenga said. 

Costs were, of course, a factor in deciding to invest in a full dragline liquid manure management system. But the dairy also looked at other benefits as well. “We have full control of running our own system,” said Huttenga. “We do 50-60% of our manure through dragline and do hired out tank for the rest that’s farther away.” 

Doing their own liquid manure application is more efficient for Benthem Brothers, Huttenga said. “We can get more done in an 8-hour day with our man power than we could with anything else. We like the efficiency. Per hour and per gallon, our dragline system is far faster.”

In addition to the equipment and application benefits, Benthem Brothers Dairy also likes working with the Bazooka Farmstar team. “We’re super happy with the system, and I like working with Bazooka Farmstar,” said Huttenga. “Everyone we’ve worked with has been great. They take care of us—we just contact them and they get it done.”

Benthem Brothers Dairy is happy with their choice to go with a Bazooka Farmstar dragline system. If your dairy operation is looking to invest in a liquid manure management system, request a quote.

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