Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) is being put under the spotlight this year with the National CTF Conference being held in WA in August. The benefits of CTF in Western Australia have been widely researched in the past twenty years. Not only does reducing compaction caused by machinery improve grain yield, grain quality and profit, the tramlines also help keep those machines on top of the soil in wet and boggy conditions. Many WA grain growers are just scraping the surface of its benefits, and many are progressively finding more benefits as they use and develop their systems.
The conference in Perth and CTF farm visit in Bolgart aims to bring together farmers and professionals to share their experiences of CTF adoption and management and the integration of new technologies. Three different CTF farm tours to the North, East or South of WA follow the conference, to explore more of the encouraging on-farm developments and variations in CTF systems.
Keynote speaker of the event, Rob Ruwalt, is a grain grower from the Wimmera in Victoria, who is constantly on the lookout for ‘the next big thing’ to improve his farming operation. Rob was among the early adopters of no-till farming in Australia 14 years ago and will present an overview of CRT and the impact it has had on his farming systems.
One of WA’s CTF research stalwarts, Dr Paul Blackwell who has spearheaded numerous studies on the benefits of soil amelioration in WA, including CTF, will be speaking at the conference. Paul will be discussing the myths and challenges surrounding CTF in WA and how to overcome some of these barriers when incorporating CTF into your farming systems.
Paul and those he has worked with have long advocated the benefits of adopting CTF after deep tillage to ameliorate constraints such as compaction, non-wetting and acidity. CTF also provides other financial benefits such as lower fuel requirements per hectare, due to the firmer permanent tramlines. Over recent years, Bindi Isbister, James Hagan and Paul, among others, have encouraged farmers to invest in a well-designed CTF system for considerable long-term benefits.
Kojonup farmer and Nuffield Scholar Rob Egerton-Warburton will discuss how he integrates CTF and livestock into his cropping enterprise. Rob’s passion for farming has gone far beyond the farm gate, participating on various boards and committees that address his concerns and provide him with the opportunity to have input and offer direction and change.
For more information and to register for the conference and your choice of post-conference tour head to: www.nationalctfconference.com.au
More on Paul here