Improving grass silage production with Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF): agronomics, system design and economics

PR Hargreaves*, S Peets, WCT Chamen, DR White, PA Misiewicz, RJ Godwin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Grassland silage management is generally semi-organised with no conscious attempt to re-use wheel ways as with arable fields. The total number of machine passes can be 15 or more with normal traffic (NT) systems resulting in potentially large areas of a field suffering from direct damage to the crop and soil. Literature suggests there can be grass dry matter yield reductions of 5 to 74% under NT through compaction and sward damage, with a mean of 13% in the UK. Commercially available grass forage equipment with widths of 3 to 12 m set up for controlled traffic farming (CTF) could reduce trafficked areas (which is typically 90% to 80% for NT) to 40% to 13% for CTF. This study compared grass dry matter yield between CTF and NT for a three-cut silage system based on a 9 m working width in a permanent silage field in the southwest of Scotland, UK in 2015. Results showed a 13.5% (0.80 t ha−1) increase in yield for CTF for the 2nd and 3rd cuts combined. The CTF trafficked area covered was 57% less than the NT system (30.4% compared to 87.4%) over the three silage cuts. An economic analysis based on a 13% increase in dry matter yield (for 2- and 3-cut systems) and a reduction in trafficked area from 80% (for NT) to between 45% and 15% (for CTF), increased the yield by between 0.53 t ha−1 and 1.36 t ha−1 for 2- and 3-cut systems, respectively with an equivalent grass value of between £38 ha−1 and £98 ha−1. Introducing CTF for a multi-cut grass silage system is cost-effective by increasing yields due to a reduction in compaction and sward damage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-277
Number of pages18
JournalPrecision Agriculture
Volume20
Issue number2
Early online date25 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - 15 Apr 2019

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controlled traffic systems
grass silage
traffic
economics
silage
sward
grasses
farm area
forage grasses
wheels
systems engineering
economic analysis
Scotland
grasslands
crops

Keywords

  • Grassland
  • Controlled traffic
  • Economics
  • Silage

Cite this

Hargreaves, PR ; Peets, S ; Chamen, WCT ; White, DR ; Misiewicz, PA ; Godwin, RJ. / Improving grass silage production with Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF): agronomics, system design and economics. In: Precision Agriculture. 2019 ; Vol. 20, No. 2. pp. 260-277.
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title = "Improving grass silage production with Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF): agronomics, system design and economics",
abstract = "Grassland silage management is generally semi-organised with no conscious attempt to re-use wheel ways as with arable fields. The total number of machine passes can be 15 or more with normal traffic (NT) systems resulting in potentially large areas of a field suffering from direct damage to the crop and soil. Literature suggests there can be grass dry matter yield reductions of 5 to 74{\%} under NT through compaction and sward damage, with a mean of 13{\%} in the UK. Commercially available grass forage equipment with widths of 3 to 12 m set up for controlled traffic farming (CTF) could reduce trafficked areas (which is typically 90{\%} to 80{\%} for NT) to 40{\%} to 13{\%} for CTF. This study compared grass dry matter yield between CTF and NT for a three-cut silage system based on a 9 m working width in a permanent silage field in the southwest of Scotland, UK in 2015. Results showed a 13.5{\%} (0.80 t ha−1) increase in yield for CTF for the 2nd and 3rd cuts combined. The CTF trafficked area covered was 57{\%} less than the NT system (30.4{\%} compared to 87.4{\%}) over the three silage cuts. An economic analysis based on a 13{\%} increase in dry matter yield (for 2- and 3-cut systems) and a reduction in trafficked area from 80{\%} (for NT) to between 45{\%} and 15{\%} (for CTF), increased the yield by between 0.53 t ha−1 and 1.36 t ha−1 for 2- and 3-cut systems, respectively with an equivalent grass value of between £38 ha−1 and £98 ha−1. Introducing CTF for a multi-cut grass silage system is cost-effective by increasing yields due to a reduction in compaction and sward damage.",
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Improving grass silage production with Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF): agronomics, system design and economics. / Hargreaves, PR; Peets, S; Chamen, WCT; White, DR; Misiewicz, PA; Godwin, RJ.

In: Precision Agriculture, Vol. 20, No. 2, 15.04.2019, p. 260-277.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Improving grass silage production with Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF): agronomics, system design and economics

AU - Hargreaves, PR

AU - Peets, S

AU - Chamen, WCT

AU - White, DR

AU - Misiewicz, PA

AU - Godwin, RJ

PY - 2019/4/15

Y1 - 2019/4/15

N2 - Grassland silage management is generally semi-organised with no conscious attempt to re-use wheel ways as with arable fields. The total number of machine passes can be 15 or more with normal traffic (NT) systems resulting in potentially large areas of a field suffering from direct damage to the crop and soil. Literature suggests there can be grass dry matter yield reductions of 5 to 74% under NT through compaction and sward damage, with a mean of 13% in the UK. Commercially available grass forage equipment with widths of 3 to 12 m set up for controlled traffic farming (CTF) could reduce trafficked areas (which is typically 90% to 80% for NT) to 40% to 13% for CTF. This study compared grass dry matter yield between CTF and NT for a three-cut silage system based on a 9 m working width in a permanent silage field in the southwest of Scotland, UK in 2015. Results showed a 13.5% (0.80 t ha−1) increase in yield for CTF for the 2nd and 3rd cuts combined. The CTF trafficked area covered was 57% less than the NT system (30.4% compared to 87.4%) over the three silage cuts. An economic analysis based on a 13% increase in dry matter yield (for 2- and 3-cut systems) and a reduction in trafficked area from 80% (for NT) to between 45% and 15% (for CTF), increased the yield by between 0.53 t ha−1 and 1.36 t ha−1 for 2- and 3-cut systems, respectively with an equivalent grass value of between £38 ha−1 and £98 ha−1. Introducing CTF for a multi-cut grass silage system is cost-effective by increasing yields due to a reduction in compaction and sward damage.

AB - Grassland silage management is generally semi-organised with no conscious attempt to re-use wheel ways as with arable fields. The total number of machine passes can be 15 or more with normal traffic (NT) systems resulting in potentially large areas of a field suffering from direct damage to the crop and soil. Literature suggests there can be grass dry matter yield reductions of 5 to 74% under NT through compaction and sward damage, with a mean of 13% in the UK. Commercially available grass forage equipment with widths of 3 to 12 m set up for controlled traffic farming (CTF) could reduce trafficked areas (which is typically 90% to 80% for NT) to 40% to 13% for CTF. This study compared grass dry matter yield between CTF and NT for a three-cut silage system based on a 9 m working width in a permanent silage field in the southwest of Scotland, UK in 2015. Results showed a 13.5% (0.80 t ha−1) increase in yield for CTF for the 2nd and 3rd cuts combined. The CTF trafficked area covered was 57% less than the NT system (30.4% compared to 87.4%) over the three silage cuts. An economic analysis based on a 13% increase in dry matter yield (for 2- and 3-cut systems) and a reduction in trafficked area from 80% (for NT) to between 45% and 15% (for CTF), increased the yield by between 0.53 t ha−1 and 1.36 t ha−1 for 2- and 3-cut systems, respectively with an equivalent grass value of between £38 ha−1 and £98 ha−1. Introducing CTF for a multi-cut grass silage system is cost-effective by increasing yields due to a reduction in compaction and sward damage.

KW - Grassland

KW - Controlled traffic

KW - Economics

KW - Silage

U2 - 10.1007/s11119-018-09633-7

DO - 10.1007/s11119-018-09633-7

M3 - Article

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JO - Precision Agriculture

JF - Precision Agriculture

SN - 1385-2256

IS - 2

ER -