Soil & Water Management Centre

Developing & improving your soils

Platform news

This is the feed from news from the SWMC, NCPF and CTF Europe Centre. Only full members can add posts, so if you want to join click here
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  • 01 Jul 2015 15:40 | Tim Chamen (Administrator)

    This is a paper just published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) but which has been a long time in the making! It was a paper I started in 2010 but thankfully, Dio Antille took on the task of updating and expanding it and together with Jeff Tullberg and Rattan Lal, verifying the outcomes and conclusions. It has a lot to offer if you want to get down to the detail, but Dio has drawn together a fine abstract at the beginning, included a "Synthesis" section and drawn some clear conclusions. So, if you do nothing else, do read one or other of these to acquaint yourselves with yet another set of positive outcomes from controlled traffic farming!

    Tim Chamen

  • 07 Apr 2015 10:22 | Tim Chamen (Administrator)

    Registration for this conference in Prague from 17-19 June 2015 is now open. Please visit our conference pages to find out more and register for the event.

  • 10 Mar 2015 17:06 | Tim Chamen (Administrator)

    This article entitled "Kumbia Strip Show" might be taken the wrong way but I can assure you it is all down to earth - literally. The farm in Queensland, Australia on which the article is based, is experiencing the benefits of introducing both strip tillage and controlled traffic, the latter seen as an essential prerequisite for successful strip tillage. Primarily the strip tillage is being used to introduce fertilizer at depth and although demanding a high draught force in the first year when the paddock was still compacted, the operation became successively easier year on year.

  • 20 Feb 2015 17:13 | Tim Chamen (Administrator)

    Jonny Rowland from Reading University studying for a BSc in Agriculture is looking for some help with his project. He's put together 20 questions related to machinery sharing and would greatly appreciate the help of farmers participating in such schemes. More information and the easily filled questionnaire can be found on the Qualtrics site

    Please pass this on to others and do help if you can. Many thanks

  • 01 Nov 2014 17:57 | Tim Chamen (Administrator)

    We received this Youtube link from Innovation Farm showing barley being harvested with a CTF system - which is very evident in places but has the odd "off piste" moment if you can spot it! Which of the drivers controls the position of the unloading auger I wonder - the target is pretty small when travelling at that speed!

    Certainly an impressive operation with filming making extensive use of a UAV - suddenly very popular across the world. Did CTF Europe with the help of Juha Knaapi start the trend I wonder with this video taken over 12 months ago? 

    Also worth looking at is Andrew Williamson's article on realising the full potential of precision agriculture. I think however that the constraints to CTF adoption in the UK are not as great as he imagines, as indicated in my response to his excellent blog.

  • 20 Oct 2014 17:59 | Anonymous

    Tim Chamen from CTF Europe has long awaited an independent and science-based study of Glenside's Bioscence crop growing system and it seems that the RASE together with partners have now come up with results from just that! I came across their report in Farming Futures from which there is a link to the full report. 

    Although more research is needed on a broader scale, the results are certainly encouraging and prove the point about nurturing the soil as living organism. What was not covered in the study was the effect of physical inputs to the soil, such as soil compaction and one wonders whether the downturn in crop responses in the very wet year of 2012 may have been avoided if controlled traffic had been in operation? 

    Controlled traffic farmers are perfectly placed to host studies of this nature, with replicated conventionally compacted strips at right angles to their traffic lanes. It would be a small price to pay to extend the valuable research already conducted. If you are a controlled traffic farmer and willing to make some of your land available for research, please make yourselves known to RASE if you are interested in any future work they may conduct of this nature.

  • 10 Aug 2014 21:08 | Anonymous
    Seems that CTF member are really enthused about how things are going for them and here's another video with an added extra - use of UAV and some clever camera work to give lasting images.

  • 09 Aug 2014 21:14 | Anonymous
    Martin Necada of Eurofarms reports that he now has a 9 m controlled traffic system in place and the video below shows it being used for the first time in this year's wheat harvest.

    The harvester always delivers grain to the chemical application tramlines spaced at 27 m, meaning that the chaser never leaves these non-cropped traffic lanes. The  intermediate sown tracks therefore receive less traffic than they might if the chemical application system had not been a three times multiple of the base width.

    This method of working is now becoming very popular and can work with 8, 9, 10 and 12 m systems with matching spray boom widths of 24, 27, 30 and 36 m.

  • 05 Aug 2014 21:17 | Anonymous

    Early in 2014 CTF Europe surveyed its members to see how many were now operating a full (CTF) or seasonal (SCTF) controlled traffic system or had plans to get into controlled traffic in the near future. 

    They had about 50% return for the questionnaire, so the figures quoted here will be conservative and of course do not include non-members who have introduced controlled traffic onto their farms.

    The total returns across northern Europe in seasonal and full controlled traffic (SCTF and CTF) and one farm in Africa suggest an area of 53,417 ha, of which 12,432 are in SCTF. The area planned for CTF and SCTF in the next few years was around 20,000 ha.

    If you are not a member of CTF Europe and are running a controlled traffic system and would like to record your area, please get in touch on our contacts page.

  • 25 Mar 2014 21:19 | Anonymous

    Yesterday HGCA announced its eight new arable monitor farms in the UK (). Rob Fox, Tom Bradshaw and Julian Gold were selected from 136 entries and have committed themselves to three years of scrutiny and visits from other farmers. Of particular value for assessing the viability of their production methods will be benchmarking and peer review as well as a steering committee. 

    Julian's farm is the subject of our Case Study 12, which is available for CTF Europe members to download. His is a 10 m CTF system with many novel features including baling without compromising his traffic lanes.

    We look forward to hearing about their activities and analysis of their production costs. Congratulations and thanks to them for "sticking their heads above the parapet"! We hope it will be a rewarding three years for them.

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