Controlled traffic farming and cropping productivity CTF – providing a future of productivity Dr Don Yule www.ctfsolutions.com.au
Scene Setting CTF is a farming system that includes at least Controlled traffic = permanent wheel tracks and matched implement widths Minimum tillage, preferable none Designed paddock layouts
Scene Setting Drivers of cropping Cropping is mechanised Crops grow in soils Soils are in landscapes
CTF Responses • Key Performance Indicators • Efficiency • Effectiveness • Continuous improvement • Access to new technologies • Measure to manage • AND • Rain use efficiency
1. Cropping is mechanised CTF Response Hard tracks for wheels, no compaction for crops
1. Cropping is mechanised CTF Response Do wheels impact on crop yield?
Yield (t/Ha) P 0.07 Av LSD (5%) 1.16 0 tyre beside row 3.6 a 1 tyre beside row 3.0 ab 2 tyre beside row 2.4 b Single row Sorghum yields
FARMER’S CTF RESPONSE Removes the low values, reduces variability
2. Crops grow in soils CTF Response Improve physical soil health Increase water use efficiency
2. Crops grow in soils CTF Response • Improve chemical soil health • Enormous knowledge base • pH management critical • Manures may be under-estimated • Re-visit for our new really healthy soils
2. Crops grow in soils CTF Response Use more manures Manure added 3 years ago No manure added
2. Crops grow in soils CTF Response Improve biological soil health
Responses to these realities Biological soil health
2. Crops grow in soils Improve overall soil health Increase crop frequency, farm like nature Increase Rain Use Efficiency CTF 21t 8t TRAD
3. Soils are in landscapes CTF Responses • Farm planning for infrastructure, land use capability, trees and wildlife • Paddock layout – CT direction, efficient operations, remove waterlogging and reduce erosion, topography information critical.
3. Soils are in landscapesCTF Layout using 1m pixel imagery and GPS topo 2004. Waterlogging, loss $56,000 2006. After drainage, cost $3,000.
TRADITIONAL 100t/ha 3. Soils are in landscapes CTF Response to severe erosion event 1997 CTF 10t/ha
3. Soils are in landscapes CTF Response to wind erosion No till Stubble retention
3. Soils are in landscapes CTF Response to waterlogging Raised beds Post-beds 11.6 kg/ha/mm Pre-beds 4.4 kg/ha/mm CTF produced 2.6 times more for the same rainfall
Controlled traffic farming and cropping productivity CTF has produced massive increases in grain productivity, and also in cane, cotton and vegetables.
4. CTF and Spatial Technologies • the perfect match • GNSS (GPS) • “Know where you are farming” • 2cm accuracy and repeatability • Automation, e.g. Auto-steer • Labour benefits • CORS networks • Spatial footprint
GNSS Guidance A B Radio GNSS antennae Rover/tractor Base station
4. CTF and Spatial Technologies the perfect match • Remote Sensing • 1m pixel – satellites or planes • Multi-spectral – includes NIR • $0.50/ha • Measures crop and machinery performance • Ground based sensing • Topography • Yield monitoring
4. CTF and Spatial Technologies the perfect match • Measure to Manage • Tools produce digital, automated, high resolution data • Relevant – measure paddock and farmer performance • GIS ready, spatially accurate • Forensic analysis – how much impact and what area, relate to other data to identify and manage causes of poor and good growth
4. CTF and Spatial Technologies the perfect match • Continuous Improvement • Use tools to drive On-farm R&D for every grower’s farm and farming system. Easy to implement and measure. Highly relevant, applicable and adoptable.
Does CTF Provide a Future of PRODUCTIVITY? • CTF and System Benefits • Bowman (2008) studied 16 farmers and change on 4,250 ha, Darling Downs • Soil erosion less by 195,000 tonnes/year (-90%) • Diesel use from 338,000 to 130,000 L/yr (-60%) • Nitrogen leaving farms from 119 to 9 t(-90%) • Carbon dioxide loss from 1,199 to 373 t (-70%) • Labour from 4,590 to 1,744 hours (-60%) • Annual income $1,652,500 to $2,386,230(+44%) • Gross Margin $547,279 to $918,366 (+68%)
CTF – Providing a Future of PRODUCTIVITY CTF and CORS NETWORK Benefits The Allen Consulting Group (2008) calculated benefits due to precision GNSS (from CORS Networks) and CTF and inter-row sowing practices were $152 – 208 million in 2008, and estimated to be $1005 – 1357 million per year in 2030. CRC for Spatial Information
Controlled traffic farming and cropping productivity The conclusion of the 2005 National CTF Conference was “JUST DO IT” and I hope I have explained why. But ABS (2009) reported 88% of cropping farmers were doing no CTF. Why are so few “doing it”? www.ctfsolutions.com.au