Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) all-in gave a result in the first year
Torbjörn’s reason for converting to CTF was to increase the amount of clover, and thereby the protein content, in his silage. He also changed the method of ley establishment, as the leys did not retain enough clover. Now the ley is under-sown in whole-crop barley. The next step was to implement CTF. Starting with a new tractor equipped for GPS, all the ley machines have the same width, i.e. 8 m.
The effect of CTF is monitored continuously. In this first year of running all machines in the same tramlines, results can already be seen. After harvest, every track can be seen in the crop. When big bales were collected this year, it was obvious that the ground was softer between the tracks. The system also makes driving in the field more exact, with less time spent instructing drivers. Torbjörn is interested in monitoring the results, and hopes to see improvements in ley production and yield over time.
Interest in technical solutions is a driving force. “You have to make your work interesting, not just act purely for maximum profitability.”
Reason for the innovation
Interest in technical solutions has led to investment in improved ley production
The start was basic GPS equipment. This resulted in lanes up to 1 m to the side when returning. Now Torbjörn has invested 5,000 Euro in an upgraded system with centimetre precision. All machines used in ley production are now adapted to a width of 8 m. Disciplined driving is crucial. Driving across the field with a filled wagon is not permitted.
- Soil types: Sandy soils to loam
- Climate: Temperate continental climate
- Altitude: 115 m a.s.l
- Slope: 0 %
- The farm is situated in Västergötland, southern Sweden.
- Grazing: Yes
- Temporary grassland based on red clover, white clover, perennial ryegrass, timothy and tall fescue.
- Owns some harvesting machinery outright and some together with other farms.
- Annual Work Unit: 3.5
- 190 ha arable land area, of which
- 75 ha temporary grassland area.
- 10 ha semi-natural grassland area.
- Faba beans, winter wheat and barley are grown.
- 125 dairy cows (40 % Holstein and 60 % Swedish Red), producing 11,600 kg milk per year in VMS.
- 125 recruitment animals.
Why it is working
Discipline and good GPS equipment are essential for success in CTF. There are several benefits of CTF. More clover gives a higher protein content and palatability. Dry matter yield of leys is increased. CTF also improves discipline in field work and saves time on instructing drivers. The work is simply done better. The more of these improvements that fit on the farm, the greater the gain from this investment. “This is a system for perfectionists.”