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Profitability of controlled traffic in grass silage production – economic modelling and machinery systems

  • H. Alvemar (a1), H. Andersson (a2) and H. H. Pedersen (a3)

Abstract

Controlled traffic farming (CTF) systems aim to reduce soil compaction by restricting machinery field traffic to permanent traffic lanes. Grass-clover silage production is generally associated with intensive field traffic, resulting in reduced silage clover content. If CTF can increase yield and clover content in grass-clover leys, this would reduce the need for grain and expensive protein concentrate in dairy cow feed rations. A mixed integer programming model was developed to evaluate the potential profitability of CTF in a dairy farm context. Existing field trial data were used to calculate the expected yield outcome of CTF, based on reductions in trafficked area. The results revealed that CTF increased profitability by up to €50/ha. Total machinery costs are likely to increase on converting to CTF, but variable machinery costs are likely to decrease.

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