Controlled traffic farming delivers improved agronomic performance of wheat as a result of enhanced rainfall and fertiliser nitrogen use efficiency

Hussein, Mahmood A. and Antille, Diogenes L. and Kodur, Shreevatsa and Chen, Guangnan ORCID: and Tullberg, Jeff N. (2021) Controlled traffic farming delivers improved agronomic performance of wheat as a result of enhanced rainfall and fertiliser nitrogen use efficiency. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section B: Soil and Plant Science, 71 (5). pp. 377-398. ISSN 0906-4710


This study investigated the agronomic response and economic return of wheat grown in compacted and non-compacted soils to represent the conditions of non-controlled (non-CTF) and controlled traffic (CTF) systems, respectively. Yield-to-nitrogen responses were derived after application of urea, DMPP-treated urea, and UAN at rates between 0 and 300 kg ha−1 N. Soil properties were measured to guide parametrisation of APSIM, which was used to assess longterm (50 years) effects of CTF and non-CTF soil conditions on crop productivity, rainfall-use efficiency (RUE) and surface runoff. Grain yield and yield components were significantly higher in CTF compared with non-CTF. When N inputs were optimised, N use efficiency (NUE) was more than double in CTF (≈23%) compared with non-CTF (≈9%). RUE was about 15% higher in CTF, which concurrently reduced the amount of surface runoff compared with non-CTF. For years with average rainfall (240-mm in-crop), yield penalties of up 12% may be expected in non-CTF. APSIM simulations showed that increased productivity, and inter-annual yield stability, can increase gross margin of wheat by AUD30-50 ha−1 depending on in-crop rainfall and the tillage method used. In non-CTF systems, improvements in NUE and RUE are constrained by soil compaction. Enhanced efficiency fertilizers cannot compensate for other stresses caused by compaction and therefore cannot achieve the same NUE and RUE as the CTF system. Adoption of CTF in water-constrained environments improves profitability and resource-use efficiency.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 41777
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences - Centre for Agricultural Engineering (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2021 02:02
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2021 05:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: controlled traffic farming; wheat; fertiliser nitrogen use efficiency
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099901 Agricultural Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4099 Other engineering > 409901 Agricultural engineering
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8205 Winter Grains and Oilseeds > 820507 Wheat
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 26 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 2603 Grains and seeds > 260312 Wheat
Identification Number or DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only