Controlled Traffic Farming Alberta

CTFA Newsletter, April 6, 2016



CTF News
  • 2015 Field Research Highlights
  • 2015 Economics Highlights
  • U of A Soil Properties Research
  • Soil Biology and Soil Compaction
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April 6, 2016 Vol #3, Issue #1
Controlled Traffic Farming Alberta News

2015 Field Research Highlights

The Controlled Traffic Farming Alberta project completed its 5th year of field trials in 2015. It is the second year of replicated field-scale trials. The Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund (ACIDF) is our major funder. 

Click here for the 2015 CTFA field report

Growing Season
Growing season rainfall for 2015 was well below normal for all locations except Morrin. All sites received very little rain until the second to third week of July, just in time to salvage the crop. Stored soil moisture was critical to emergence and early spring growth. Fortunately for most locations fall frost was not an issue.

2015 Infiltration Results
The time it takes to infiltrate one inch of water into the soil has been monitored for five years. The controlled traffic farming (CTF) plots have consistently shown faster average infiltration rates, but not always statistically different than the random traffic (RT) plots in each of the last five years. Infiltration rates were significantly faster in favour of CTF at p=10% on four of the eight sites in 2015. Click here for graph

2015 Weed and Crop Emergence Results
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe is monitoring crop emergence and weed populations in the CTF and RT plots. Weed populations are counted each spring, prior to or just after in-crop spraying, with a view to determining if there are any shifts in populations between the CTF and random traffic. Crop emergence counts are taken at the same time. Weed counts for 2012 through 2015 do not reveal any population shifts. Crop emergence has not been significantly different between the controlled traffic and random traffic in most locations and years. Click here for Crop Emergence graph.

2015 Yield Results
The plots for 2015 are replicated field-scale plots. Replications ranged from two to five. The data was collected from combine yield monitors and in the case of Dapp, New Norway, Lacombe and Trochu grain carts with scales were also used to record yields. Yields were collected from random traffic treatments and from the CTF swaths immediately adjacent to the random traffic. The Trochu site had significantly better yields for the CTF at p=10%. There were no significant differences in yield at the other sites. Click here for graph.


2015 Economic Highlights

The CTF system achieved net economic benefits at six of the eight sites.  The statistical analysis of the yield data was not able to support the hypothesis that these yield differences could be attributed to the CTF operating systems, except at the Trochu site. Click here for the Economic Analysis


University of Alberta Soil Properties Research

The goals of the study are to: 
•    Evaluate how soil properties change in response to the presence of compaction. 
•    Determine how controlled traffic farming (CTF) affects soil quality in Alberta. 
•    Quantify how soil quality changes as a function of landscape and the management system.

Key findings to date for soil physical properties are:
•    Decrease in bulk density in un-trafficked areas.
•    Increase in macro and meso-porosity in un-trafficked areas.
•    Increase in S-index soil quality in un-trafficked areas.
•    Soil quality changes differ between soil subgroups.

Key findings to date for hydraulic properties of soil are:
•    Hydraulic conductivity highly variable.
•    Increase in saturated water content in un-trafficked areas.
•    Un-trafficked soils have higher available water holding capacity.

Click here for the U of A Soil Quality Report

Soil Biology and Soil Compaction Resources

Click here to go to our Links --> Soil Sites page for more information or link directly to the following.

The GRDC Ground Cover Supplement Issue 118 September - October 2015 pages 12-15 has several deep ripping/compaction articles with one of the key points being that ripping, especially on sandy soils, can be quickly negated by wheel traffic unless you implement a CTF system.

The USDA Science and Technology Training Library has webinars and factsheets on the biology of soil compaction. the Biology of Soil Compaction by Ohio State is an
excellent factsheet you can link to
in the site.

Perspectives on subsoiling in the context of CTF - Access on our Links Pages under videos. 20 minute video by Dr. Tim Chamen of CTF Europe.
Contact us: email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; phone 780 720-4346
Copyright © 2014 Controlled Traffic Farming Alberta, All rights reserved.

CTFA News is published several times each year by Controlled Traffic Farming Alberta 11507 35 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T6J 2W9

All content on and CTFA News is for informational purposes only and Controlled Traffic Farming Alberta assumes no responsibility or liability for damages arising from any error or omission or from the use of any information or advice.

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