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The whole-farm benefits of controlled traffic farming: An Australian appraisal

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  • Kingwell, Ross
  • Fuchsbichler, Amy

Abstract

Controlled traffic farming (CTF) uses a range of technologies to confine traffic-induced compaction to permanently defined tramlines within a farm's cropping area. CTF concentrates and improves trafficability whilst simultaneously supporting soil structure improvement between tramlines, thereby raising crop yields and offering other advantages such as reduced overlap that saves on crop inputs. This study uses whole-farm modelling to assess the profitability and role of CTF in different farming systems in Australian dryland agriculture. Farming system scenarios with and without the CTF are compared. Stepwise analysis, combined with sensitivity analysis, reveals the characteristics of CTF that most affect its value. Results indicate that the most valuable aspect of the technology is its beneficial impact on the yield and quality of crops grown on soils most subject to compaction. Hence, on farms dominated by these soils and where their faming system emphasizes cropping, CTF forms an especially valuable role. For a typical farm in the study region, employing conservative measures, farm profit increases by around 50% through use of CTF. Hence, CTF represents a remarkably profitable innovation for farming systems, offering input savings and output increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Kingwell, Ross & Fuchsbichler, Amy, 2011. "The whole-farm benefits of controlled traffic farming: An Australian appraisal," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 104(7), pages 513-521, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:104:y:2011:i:7:p:513-521
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gibson, Lauren & Kingwell, Ross & Doole, Graeme, 2008. "The role and value of eastern star clover in managing herbicide-resistant crop weeds: A whole-farm analysis," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 199-207, October.
    2. David J. Pannell, 2006. "Flat Earth Economics: The Far-reaching Consequences of Flat Payoff Functions in Economic Decision Making," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(4), pages 553-566.
    3. Knight, Brad & Malcolm, Bill, 2007. "A Whole- Farm Investment Analysis of Some Precision Agriculture Technologies," 2007 Conference (51st), February 13-16, 2007, Queenstown, New Zealand 10406, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    4. Bathgate, A. & Revell, C. & Kingwell, R., 2009. "Identifying the value of pasture improvement using wholefarm modelling," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 102(1-3), pages 48-57, October.
    5. Bathgate, Andrew & Pannell, David J., 2002. "Economics of deep-rooted perennials in western Australia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 117-132, February.
    6. Kingwell, R., 2002. "Sheep animal welfare in a low rainfall Mediterranean environment: a profitable investment?," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 221-240, November.
    7. O'Connell, Michael & Young, John & Kingwell, Ross, 2006. "The economic value of saltland pastures in a mixed farming system in Western Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 371-389, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Finlayson, John & Real, Daniel & Nordblom, Tom & Revell, Clinton & Ewing, Mike & Kingwell, Ross, 2012. "Farm level assessments of a novel drought tolerant forage: Tedera (Bituminaria bituminosa C.H. Stirt var. albomarginata)," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 38-47.

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