CTF Europe

Controlled Traffic Farming across Europe

Controlled Traffic Farming

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. As machines are 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. Look at this simple flash animation (English)(Deutsch) (Français) to see how CTF brings order to chaos! If you would like to read more about CTF in Danish, please visit our partner site at ctfeurope.dk

If you think CTF makes sense download a flier 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 CTF Europe. See the endorsement of CTF by Edward Dale in the video below, a UK farmer who adopted CTF in 2005.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)

It's almost certain that controlled traffic farming would not be creating so much interest or uptake if we didn't have satellite guidance and auto-steer. These are great enabling technologies but for controlled traffic farming you need to buy into a highly accurate and repeatable positioning system.

The best pass to pass accuracy provided by free satellite signals is limited to ± 30 cm, but subscription services will provide between ± 5 - 10 cm (e.g. Omnistar HP or John Deere SF2). BUT, the pass to pass accuracy quoted for these systems is time dependent; it will not re-position machines in exactly the same place if this time limit is exceeded, which is normally around 15 minutes. Outside this time limit, the error could be much larger and none of these "satellite-based correction signals" are capable of bringing machines back to exactly the same place year in year out. So, they are okay if you just want pass to pass accuracy, but they are unsuitable for Controlled Traffic Farming which requires a correction signal called "Real Time Kinematic", or RTK for short. Only RTK is guaranteed to steer your vehicles in exactly the same tracks indefinitely.

Members can learn more about GNSS and Auto-steer on our dedicated web page which also offers links to a wide range of suppliers and a short presentation highlighting some of the key factors which you need to consider when buying into this technology.

UK: Tim Chamen
+44 7714 206 048

Netherlands: Sander Bernaerts

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