Controlled Traffic Farming

Over the past 30 or so years the weight of field machinery has approximately quadrupled, leading to deep seated soil compaction which is often uneconomic to repair. We cannot step back in time to address the problem and the promise of robots has yet to be realised. However, there is an alternative in the form of “Controlled Traffic Farming” (CTF).

CTF is a field machinery management system that uses high-level satellite guidance, coupled with autosteer and width matching, to confine all vehicles to the least possible area of permanent traffic lanes. These lanes can cover just 15% of field areas compared with the 45-85% associated with traditional systems. On the 85% non-trafficked areas, water infiltration and conductivity are more than doubled and crop yields gradually improve. Little or no tillage is needed and together with lower rolling resistance on the firm traffic lanes, fuel use for crop establishment can be cut by 35%.

CTF involves matching up machinery widths and aligning the track gauges of the running gear on all field vehicles. This transition, carried out over a timescale in line with a farm’s current machinery replacement policy, leads to a substantial reduction in capital investment and operating costs.


  • Access to key publications to support CTF
  • Unique insight into current research programmes and outputs
  • Regular newsletters and subscription to the Soils and Tillage magazine
  • A register of consultants and practitioners willing to talk through their experience of CTF
  • Exclusive technical events with local and regional networking opportunities

Join the network for just £90 (£108 inc. VAT) per annum