Tramlines are open tracks that are purposefully left unseeded in a field by a planter so that vehicles performing subsequent operations (such as chemical application) can use the tramlines as a path through the field, thereby avoiding damage to existing plants.
Why tramline farming?
farming for two years. Reason for tramline farming Paddy was a participant on the Tramline Tour 2001 to New South Wales and Queensland. He found this tour very valuable and it helped him to further appreciate the benefits a controlled traffic system can provide. Paddy believes tramline farming ‘is a simple concept with
What crops can be grown on a tramline?
canola, faba beans and field peas as well as the lupin crops’. Photo 11.11. Fretwell’s seeding tractor pulling the chaser bin with a matching 3m wheel track. 75 Case Study 14: Kim and Dianne, Neil and Jo Diamond Buntine farmers Kim and Dianne together with Neil and Jo Diamond started tramline farming in 2002.
Does the tramline zone affect crop yield?
The bare tramline zone had less yield than the sown tramline zone, except for the longer season variety, Calingiri, which grew 25 per cent more grain (350 kg/ha) in the tramline zone with 50 per cent less screenings than the crop outside the tramline zone (Figure 1.3).
What is controlled traffic farming?
Controlled traffic farming is now the more broadly used term world wide for a system with permanent traffic lanes. Tramlining in Europe refers to seasonal wheel tracks that are commonly used for spraying and are usually replaced each year.
What is CTF in agriculture?
Controlled traffic farming (CTF) is a farming system built on permanent wheel tracks where the crop zone and traffic lanes are permanently separated. It can improve profitability and sustainability. Implements have a particular span, or multiple of it and all wheel tracks are confined to specific traffic lanes.
Why use less fertiliser on CTF farms?
Alternatively, less fertiliser may be needed to grow the same yield for the same amount of growing season rainfall. This seems to be due to better soil health, which improves increased beneficial microbial nutrient transformations, such as mineralisation of nitrogen and fewer detrimental microbial nutrient transformations, such as denitrification. Better soil health of soils under CTF seems to come from more porous and easily drained soil decreasing the frequency and duration of waterlogging, as well as encouragement of soil macrofauna (worms, ants and termites). CTF and no-till in a low rainfall loam has been found to encourage activity of termites and led to better yield, most likely from nitrogen fixed by nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the termite gut. Abundant termite activity has been observed on well-established CTF farms on sand and loam in the low rainfall north-eastern wheatbelt and abundant earthworm activity has been observed on a well established high rainfall farm on clay soil near Esperance. Detailed studies of soil biology effects of CTF and no-till treatments to a vertisol in south-east Queensland found CTF could increase abundance of earthworms, mites and springtails by 160%, 40% and 40% respectively, compared to wheeled treatments.
How does CTF improve grain quality?
Australian research over 20 years has shown CTF can improve grain quality and increase grain yields by 2-16% (10% is a common average after the year of establishment) if there are no other limiting subsoil constraints. These benefits are attractive, but ultimately a new farming system has to produce more profit.
What are the advantages of a firm wheel track?
Reduced capital cost, depreciation and better use of capital. Firm wheel tracks and soft soil enable better traction and less draft for the same seeding or tillage operation; thus lower horsepower tractors, such as front wheel drive tractors, can be used.
How does CTF help growers?
Spending less money on fuel is the CTF benefit most growers find as soon as they get their system going. Improved fuel use efficiency comes from machinery running on firm compact wheel tracks with less rolling resistance and wheel slip compared to running on softer soil. 25% reduction in fuel use has been measured in CTF systems with no-till farming in Western Australia. When combined with fertiliser savings from less overlap from guidance, this could translate to 200 tonnes of greenhouse gas avoided for every tonne of improved grain production. Queensland research has shown up to 50% less fuel use when CTF is used on clay soils.
What is CTF in agriculture?
One soil conservation practice that has risen in popularity with the advent of satellite-guided farming, precision agricultural practices, and auto-steer capabilities on tractors and implements is tramline or controlled traffic farming (CTF). With a CTF plan, farmers use mechanical means to design specific, consistently-utilised permanent wheel tracks that work for all tractors, harvesters, and implements through uniform wheel spacings and long-run rows across paddocks. These wheel tracks bear the weight of tractors and implements in the field, limiting soil compaction to a smaller percentage of the paddock, reducing the need for whole-field deep cultivation to combat compaction issues, and minimising erosion.
What is the lifeblood of crop farming?
Bringing Things in Line – Tramline or Controlled Traffic Farming. Soil is the lifeblood of crop farmers. They spend countless hours monitoring it, applying the nutrients it needs to perform its best, building it up by increasing its organic matter, and decreasing its susceptibility to environmental threats like erosion.
Crop Yield and Quality Improvements
Spending less money on fuel is the CTF benefit most growers find as soon as they get their system going. Improved fuel use efficiency comes from machinery running on firm compact wheel tracks with less rolling resistance and wheel slip compared to running on softer soil. 25% reduction in fuel use has been measured in CTF systems with no-till farming in Western Australi…
Reduced Fertiliser Requirement
On CTF farms fertiliser may be used more efficiently (more grain is grown for the same amount of fertiliser per millimetre of growing season rainfall). Alternatively, less fertiliser may be needed to grow the same yield for the same amount of growing season rainfall. This seems to be due to better soil health, which improves increased beneficial microbial nutrient transformations, such …
Reduced Capital Cost, Depreciation and Better Use of Capital
Firm wheel tracks and soft soil enable better traction and less draft for the same seeding or tillage operation; thus lower horsepower tractors, such as front wheel drive tractors, can be used. Tracked tractors can take advantage of this because they have a higher tractive efficiency than a wheeled tractor, which may need duals or triples to provide the same draft. The lower capital co…
Protecting Investment in Deep Cultivation
Any tillage system that conserves the permanent wheel tracks can be used in CTF; even full-tillage such as inversion ploughing can allow later restoration of permanent wheel tracks, which is essential if a large investment in deep tillage and soil amelioration is to provide long-term benefit. Where soil types are responsive to amelioration, this will be an additional cost that will add valu…