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Changing farmers – systems, partnerships and buzz.

D F Yule and T J Neale

CTF Solutions, and
56 Iona Tce, Taringa, Q 4068


Adoption of Controlled Traffic Farming systems across cropping industries across Australia developed from a step-wise, common sense and systematic approach to resource management. It started with soil compaction control (controlled traffic), then runoff and erosion management (paddock and farm layout) and inclusion of improved practices (zero tillage, frequent cropping, improved agronomy). Recognition that farming systems are unique to farmers and their farms, drove farmer – scientists partnerships with commitment from growers to “have a go” and from scientists to put their science on the line. Downhill farming, glass ceilings and leaps forward became buzz words to the converted. Benefits included improved resources, efficiencies, high productivity, excellent economics, reduced environmental impacts and better lifestyles.

Early success has created a new, higher comfort zone with satisfaction and complacency. System development is constrained by machinery and equipment. Scientific and professional support are slow to move and quick to raise doubts. Early adopters are soon by themselves and under social pressures. Partnerships are threatened by continuous challenging of the norms – scientific, environmental, productivity, economic, machinery and social, and by the continuous change and personal capacity building. New technologies (GPS, GIS, satellite imagery, centimeter accuracies) are the “buzz” drivers for the next generation of change. Have we the capacities to address these professional challenges?

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