An Introduction to Controlled Traffic Farming and Tram Lines

The concept of controlled traffic farming — that is, running all equipment on set paths in a field to reduce compaction — is one RealAgriculture.com has explored before. In this video, Steve Laroque discusses what he’s learned in the second year of adopting the practice. Alberta is most certainly the leader of the practice in Canada, but it would seem others outside of Australia and Canada are taking notice of the concept.

Phil Needham of Needham Ag Technologies talks us through why limiting traffic to set pathways in a field may make sense. He also notes that while true CTF is relatively new in North America and not widely adopted, the use of tram lines has a nearly 40 year history in much of western Europe.

Still, the concept is not without its critics. Some say Canada doesn’t have the compaction problems that plague Australia with its highly weathered soils.  Others aren’t convinced the benefits outweigh the time and effort spent on machinery adjustments; focus on fewer passes on the field and you achieve similar results.

What do you think? Have you adopted CTF on your farm? Is compaction a chronic issue or only every few years?

If you cannot see the embedded video below click here.

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