Wheat School: The Possibilities of Controlled Traffic Farming


Farmers across the globe continue to try and improve wheat production.  Higher yields and environmental stewardship continue to evolve and be achieved.  One of the best ways to learn new practices and raise your personal knowledge of agronomy is to look at other production practices around the globe.  A deeper look into how fellow farmers achieve increased yields is a great way to improve your farming practices.

One of the tactics that has been deemed successful in Europe and Australia is Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF).  Controlled traffic farming is the concept of driving over the exact same track in the field with every field application.  All of your farming implements need to be the same width which can be a significant investment.

Steve Larouque is a farmer and agronomist in Drumheller, Alberta who has been experimenting with controlled traffic farming since his first trip to Australia.  In this video Steve describes controlled traffic farming and why he thinks it may have a fit in Canada.  If you cannot see the below video click here.

According to Controlled Traffic Farming Alberta, som of the potential benefits are:

  • Improve soil structure
  • increase water filtration.
  • Increase soil water storage
  • increase nutrient use efficiencies
  • increase moisture use efficiencies
  • reduce pesticide costs
  • reduce fuel consumption
  • improve traffic-ability of equipment
  • lower machinery investment

Phil Needham is a world renowned wheat agronomist who is very well respected for his focus on growing wheat to its maximum production levels.  I talked to Phil about why he thinks controlled traffic farming is the next real production practice to increase wheat yields in North America. If you cannot see the video below click here

In Canada not enough research has been done yet to decide if controlled traffic farming is a good fit.  It is definitely growing in interest with many researchers, agronomists and farmers.  Some are skeptical because our soil type is different than Australia while other think it is a lot of work for limited benefit.  The only way to tell will be more years of tests, trials and experimentation.  Why do you think?  Leave your comments below.

If you are more interested in Controlled Traffic Farming please go to controlled traffic farming Alberta

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Wheat School (view all)Season 2 (2011) Episode 34

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