What is CTF?

CTF is a simple way of dramatically reducing input costs (time, fuel & machinery) - and at the same time increasing crop yields - both of which are done sustainably and both of which increase farm profit.

Sounds too good to be true? It's not; some farmers in Australia have cut their machinery costs by as much as 75% while their crop yields have risen. Similarly in the UK, the Colworth project is showing that lowered inputs combined with CTF is resulting in healthier looking crops and soils.

CTF is a whole farm approach to the separation of crops and wheels; it is a system that avoids the extensive soil damage and costs imposed by normal methods. Controlled traffic is not rocket science – it simply involves confining all field vehicles to the least possible area of permanent traffic lanes.

Appropriate agronomy and management is used to maximise the potential of both the cropped and wheeled areas for their specific purposes. In practise it means the repeated use of the same wheel tracks for every operation, and although it is ideal for all machines to have the same wheel track (the distance between the left and right wheel centres) and for all implements to have a particular span (base module) or whole number mulitiple of it, this is not essential. Percentage area wheeled can be reduced to 30 - 40% even with two different track and implement widths. The illustration below shows an optimised CTF set up with planter, harvester and chemical applicator.

Tractor configuration

Illustration of CTF system with base module of 9 m and a 3 times multiple to give 27 m for chemical applications. The wheel track width is 3 m.