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Controlled traffic for vegetable production: Part 2. Layout considerations in a complex topography


McPhee, JE and Neale, T and Aird, PL, Controlled traffic for vegetable production: Part 2. Layout considerations in a complex topography, Biosystems Engineering, 116, (2) pp. 171-178. ISSN 1537-5110 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Crown Copyright 2013 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2013.06.002


Controlled traffic farming (CTF) maintains the same machinery wheel tracks in cropping fields year after year, thereby isolating the impacts of traffic compaction from the soil used for crop growth. The benefits of CTF include reduced energy use, improved soil health and crop yield, better timeliness of field operations and improved economics.

The simplest adoption of CTF occurs in flat landscapes, and mildly sloping landscapes are an advantage in relation to surface drainage. The adoption of CTF in the Australian grain and cane industries has, to a large extent, been in flat to mildly sloping topographies. The Tasmanian vegetable industry faces a very different scenario, with topographies ranging from very flat, which present potential drainage issues, to steeply undulating, which present machine tracking and erosion challenges.

Two significant challenges to the adoption of CTF in a vegetable and mixed cropping based industry were investigated (1) working and track width compatibility of current equipment, and (2) farm layouts suited to steeply undulating topography.

Farm layout can dictate success or failure in the adoption of CTF, with the risk of concentrated runoff and consequent erosion in wheel tracks. Mapping of representative farms in north-west Tasmania showed effective CTF layouts are possible, despite undulating topography and infrastructure challenges. The direction of run for many fields is already close to that required for CTF.

Issues related to machinery aspects of this topic are covered in a companion paper (McPhee & Aird, 2013).

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:vegetable production, topography, controlled traffic farming
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Other engineering
Research Field:Agricultural engineering
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Horticultural crops
Objective Field:Field grown vegetable crops
UTAS Author:McPhee, JE (Mr John McPhee)
ID Code:73545
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2011-10-14
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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