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Controlled traffic farming (CTF) is the start of a journey – a journey to reduce production costs and increase yields while improving soil health and delivering positively to the environment. It works on the principle that “if it’s not broken, you don’t need to fix it”. Much of the time and energy we put into soils is to undo the compaction damage we have caused by driving machines all over them. This video clip shows just how severe the effects can be. Due to machines getting heavier and heavier, this damage is extending deeper and deeper into the soil profile. So deep in fact, that damage may already be uneconomic to repair.

Controlled traffic farming turns our present production systems on their head by leaving 80 – 90% of fields permanently without compaction, rather than the other way around. CTF aims to confine soil compaction to the least possible area of permanent traffic lanes. It sounds simple but because our machines have never been designed to do this, it needs a lot of thought and good planning to get it right.

If you think CTF makes sense download a leaflet to find out more and join the increasing number of growers who want to embrace the "straight and narrow" and are being helped by becoming a member of the CTF Network.

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  • Access to key publications to support CTF

  • Unique insight into current research programmes and outputs

  • Regular newsletters and subscription to the Soils and Tillage magazine

  • Exclusive technical events with local and regional networking opportunities

The basics of CTF

Controlled traffic farming (CTF) is all about managing soil compaction – confining it to narrow strips across the land and maximizing the remaining undamaged soil area for cropping.


In practice it means matching machinery tracks so they take up the least possible area. Although this is made simpler by satellite guidance, it can be achieved with conventional marking systems. Farm conversion to CTF in the first instance means adopting a CTF "mindset" – the belief that separating wheels and crops is a key method of reducing costs and increasing returns. From here on it is simply a matter of good planning and timely investment that ensures a minimum 15% return on capital, an increase in crop returns and a substantial reduction in costs.

How do you get help?

This website helps you to get started, but there’s nothing like seeing CTF in action, talking to practitioners and meeting with others interested in CTF. Joining the CTF Network will allow you to do all these things and more. 


Click on the Membership page to find out how to join.

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