Controlled Traffic Farming

In this video: Learn about the benefits of CTF and how to implement it on your farm

What is Controlled Traffic Farming?

Control Traffic Farming (CTF) is where you create two permanently separated zones in your paddock – the trafficked area and un-trafficked area. Machinery is driven on the trafficked area and the roots grow in the untrafficked, or un-compacted area.

The problem with intensive traffic

Intensive traffic over a paddock really knocks around soil health. It leads to compaction and the loss of soil structure, especially if you use machinery when the soil is too wet.

Benefits of controlled traffic farming

  • Larger plant root growth
  • Increased soil drainage
  • Better aeration
  • More efficient nutrient management
  • Save time and money by driving less over the paddock in one year
  • Less sediment runoff

How to implement a CTF approach

  1. Decide on the row spacing that your wheel tracks will be set at. Cane farmers often set it based on the width of the harvester. All your other equipment then needs to align with that spacing. Other crop growers might base it on a key piece of machinery such as their tractor or spraying unit.
  2. Set up your equipment on an accurate GPS system
  3. Make sure contractors follow your permanent wheel tracks
  4. Deep rip your crop zone. There’s usually a compaction layer you need to open up to allow roots to penetrate. You shouldn’t need to do this again.

Remember, CTF is most effective when it’s part of an integrated approach. Watch the rest of the videos to learn more.

If you want more information about implementing CTF then get in touch with your local WTSIP extension officer.