Saturday 11 August 2012
QUEENSLAND vegetable growers can reduce some of their production costs while improving soil quality by using a controlled traffic farming system (CTF).
CTF is a system that permanently separates wheel traffic lanes from the soil in which crops grow, with equipment running on the same track width.
It means all tractors, equipment and harvesters need to have the same track width and, by using GPS, all equipment uses the same wheel track locations year after year.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) is co-ordinating a series of CTF projects in the key Queensland vegetable production regions of Bundaberg, Bowen and the Lockyer Valley.
DAFF senior horticulturalist John Bagshaw said a demonstration site had been established in the Bundaberg region to monitor changes in soil quality characteristics, economics, input costs and yield, and farming system operations.
“The demonstration site compares three management systems, and DAFF is working in partnership with the Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers (BFVG) on the project,” he said.
“There will also be training opportunities and field days to showcase these systems to growers, as well as the findings from the demonstration site.”
Mr Bagshaw said the benefit of CTF for vegetable growers was that growing areas were clearly defined from those used by machinery traffic, and did not require intensive tillage to fix compaction.
The CTF projects are funded by the Federal Government’s Caring for our Country Program until June 2013.
•Growers can find out more about the project by calling the Bundaberg Research Station on 07 4132 5547.
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