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Controlled Traffic Farming, Are They Worth The Effort?

When it comes to managing your crops, profitability and productivity remain paramount. However, as you hit the fields and use your heavy machinery for seeding, drilling, or pesticide application, it's likely crossed your mind: should I be using Controlled Traffic Farming (Tramline Farming)?

Conventional spraying or seeding techniques can lead to soil compaction, tire tracks, and direct damage to plants, hindering growth and reducing yields.

Here at Sveaverken we'll introduce some of the basics around using tramlines, and answer some common questions for those who haven't applied the technique to their fields before.

What is Controlled Traffic Farming?

Controlled Traffic Farming is used in practice to address crop damage during pesticide application. 

Essentially, by creating visible rows where the seed isn't planted, we utilize these rows as permanent wheel tracks, or tramlines, within the field, confining vehicle movement to these designated paths (for your sprayer). This approach effectively segregates crop zones from traffic lanes, minimizing soil compaction and protecting crops from direct damage, all while giving you a clear path to stick to as you comb through the field.


Does that mean I plant fewer seeds?

No! You'll effectively "double seed" side-by-side with the tramlines as you make them.
Why? When using tramlines, you've got more space to fill, and when you have a thicker seeding rate, you'll have a crop that grows slightly higher, which in turn acts as a visible marker for your tramlines.

Is it complicated to set up?

Not at all, it just depends on the size of your seeder and sprayer!

What are the advantages?

Reduced crop damage. You'll confine traffic to designated tramlines, in turn significantly reducing damage to crops, leading to improved plant health and increased yields.

Healthier soil. Less soil compaction means better water infiltration, root development, and nutrient uptake.

Improved efficiency. Tramline farming systems streamline field operations, reducing time spent maneuvering and improving overall efficiency.

Sustainable practices. You'll minimize soil erosion too!

When should I use tramlines?

The benefits of tramline farming are undeniable, but implementing and maintaining precise tramlines can be a challenge, this is where automation comes in. Advanced guidance systems, like our very own Sveaverken F100 Auto Steer System, can help implement your tramlines and make farming more efficient than ever.

The F100 Auto Steer System utilizes GNSS RTK technology to create permanent, precise tramline paths within your fields. This eliminates guesswork and ensures consistent spacing between tramlines. During operation, the system guides your tractor along these designated paths, minimizing soil compaction and protecting your crops.

Implementation

Adopting tramline farming involves a fairly straightforward process:

Start by carefully planning the field layout, and determining the spacing between tramlines based on the width of the machinery to be used.

Utilize your tractor guidance system to create permanent wheel tracks, ensuring precise alignment and consistent spacing.

From there, confine all vehicle movement to the designated tramlines during field operations, including pesticide application, harvesting, and any other activities.

 


How do I do this on the F100 system?

The Sveaverken F100 Auto Steer system makes tramline implementation a breeze. Here's a quick guide to creating precise and permanent tramline paths on your F100 system:

Open the Menu: From the F100's main interface, navigate to the Menu.

Field Settings: Within the Menu, select Field Settings.

Guidance Line & Tramline: Choose the Guidance Line option, and then tap on the Tramline button. This will activate the tramline functionality.

Hit the Fields

Controlled traffic farming emerges as a transformative approach to modern agriculture, addressing the critical issue of crop damage while promoting soil health and sustainable practices.

If you're looking to help automate your fieldwork, we recommend checking out Sveaverken's latest range of high-tech agricultural solutions, including our best-selling F100 Auto Steer system for tractors. 

For more info, check out this handy pointer by the AgPHD over on YouTube: 

 
 


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