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ISTRO CTF Working Group What has happened? Has anything changed? Where do we go from here? Perhaps Nowhere!

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Presentation on theme: "ISTRO CTF Working Group What has happened? Has anything changed? Where do we go from here? Perhaps Nowhere!"— Presentation transcript:

1 ISTRO CTF Working Group What has happened? Has anything changed? Where do we go from here? Perhaps Nowhere!

2 What has happened? Extensive Research in USA, EU, Australia Draft* Summary of Wheel Effects on: Soil Strength/Tillage Energy Conductivity/Biological Activity Crop Yield. * Current version: Includes many inconsistencies, Illegitimate averaging (kN/tool and L/ha, infiltration and k sat etc). No weighting of years x sites

3 Traffic Treatments - Means Years x Sites Axle Weight t Tyre Pressure kPa US* EU Austr Overall * Voorhees Zero = < 4.5 t What is our “Control?

4 Soil Strength/Tillage Energy Soil Strength Tillage Energy US EU Austr Overall Mean Ratio : CTF/Wheeled

5 Hydrology/Biology Hydraulic Conductivity Biological Activity US EU Austr Overall Mean Ratio : CTF/Wheeled

6 Production Crop Yield US1.02 EU1.10 Austr1.19 Overall1.10 Mean Ratio : CTF/Wheeled System Effects Generally Not Assessed

7 Outcomes Soil Strength and Tillage Energy,} Consistently Hydraulic Conductivity/Soil Biology.} Positive Effects Variability partly due to methodological differences? Small yield effect where crop is well-supplied with water/nutrients Largest effects in Australia - water- limited cropping - greater system emphasis* * Most comparisons between CTF ZT and Wheeled Tilled Soil

8 Reflections 1 System advantages rarely assessed Trafficability, Timeliness. Improved Tilth, Evenness, Uniformity Zero or Reduced Tillage Potential. Difficult to Quantify, but Vitally Important Challenge #1 – We don’t have the data

9 Reflections 2 Current System Attitudes Accepted Impractical, too difficult. Equipment change not possible. Land wasted in laneways Challenge #2 – do we believe this?

10 What has Changed Environmental Focus Replacing production focus Guidance Is getting better/cheaper Widespread Acceptance in Australia Ordinary farmers find it easier* *Principle of Reduced/Zero Tillage Widely Accepted. Erosion Hazard. No Mouldboard Ploughs. Less Residue Problems (soil warming, etc) Opportunity#1 Opportunity#2 Opportunity#3

11 What Do We Need to Do? Long-term assessment of system Environmental/Social/Productivity Benefits To achieve this we must: Convince ourselves Convince our colleagues Back up the pioneer farmers Encourage industry interest Shake the environmental money tree


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