Posted by: timchamen | October 27, 2010

CTF – traffic management only?

I recently made the comment that CTF is purely a traffic management system and I was castigated by our Australian colleagues who said it was a whole lot more than that – it’s the start of a completely new way of thinking which delivers a more precise way of farming. Precision that opens up a whole range of new opportunities from accurate mapping, inter-row operations, massive reductions in fuel use and input conservation to name but a few – overall a much more efficient and environmentally sensitive way of farming.

I do of course agree but my aim was to make it simple so that people aren’t put off giving it some thought and even trying some things, as is our host farmer who we plan to visit in November. His simple approach will allow him to see what is happening under one pass of a machine, two passes and however many may occur in one place during the several seasons he is going to monitor them. As our Australian “cousins” often say – “know where you are farming” and this is made easy by RTK GPS. I know this isn’t cheap, but the returns can be calculated reasonably easily using data from your own farming operations. Becoming a member of CTF Europe makes this easier still – we have the tools ready and waiting for you to use!

Anybody have any comments on this?



  1. Couldn’t agree more with all these comments, in our experience the initial benefits are mainly cost reductions. As time goes by the benefits to the soil become more and more apparent and yields have increased. In this area of North Lincolnshire autumn cultivations have been particularly difficult in conventional situations which has highlighted the benefits of CTF more than ever. We have an open day here on 17 November with the No Till Alliance, any CTF enthusiasts are welcome to join us, just let me know on

  2. It is true that CTF can go much further than just controlling traffic, but we should never lose sight of the fact that is it the act of controlling traffic that allows all the other system benefits to be attained. From my experiences in controlled traffic, and particularly over the past 4-5 years in vegetable industry work, I maintain that controlling traffic is the single most important change any cropping farmer can make. It can be a quite challenging change to make in mixed farming systems, where it can be difficult to get all the track and working widths lined up. However, controlling traffic, even if it is just the “traffic management” part of the system, will open opportunities across the range of reduced tillage, zero-till, opportunity cropping, precision management etc. CTF is much more than just controlling traffic, but the whole system starts with controlling traffic. Without that, there is no system, and if controlling traffic is all you can do, it is still worth it.

  3. would like some discussion on a drill set up for CTF that we are working on.
    30ft 10″ row spacing but twin lined on 7.5″ so we have 12.5″ spaces to plant into the following year.

    Having a headache trying to figure out how to side shift the seeding row units for the following year and staying on the tram lines.

    Any bright ideas out there?


    • Jim, It’s a tricky problem but a lot easier if you can change rowspacing ie different crop next year. We use a lot of 15/30″ crops which make it very easy.
      1″Autosteer helps as well.

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