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 and the Harper Adams long-term traffic and tillage experiment are showing that 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.
Within any controlled traffic system, appropriate agronomy and management are used to maximise the potential of both the cropped and wheeled 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 gauge (the distance between the left and right wheel centres) and for all implements to have a particular span (base module) or whole number multiple of it, this is not essential.
Percentage area wheeled can be reduced to 25 - 40% even with two different track and implement widths. The illustration below shows an example CTF system set up with a range of operations within a grains production system.
Illustration of a CTF system with a track width of 3 m, a base module width of 9 m and a 27 m multiple for input applications.