CTF Europe

Controlled Traffic Farming across Europe

Farm Visits in the UK

Monday 22 June 2015

These will start at around 08.00 in the locality of Stansted airport and return there at about 18.30. Transport will either be provided by coach or car sharing, depending on numbers attending and availability of cars. Attendees will be asked if they will have room for and be prepared to provide a lift to three passengers (and possibly their luggage) in return for half price attendance. 
A brief outline of the farms to be visited is given below.

James Peck, PX Farms, Scotland Farm, Dry Drayton, Cambridge

This 2100 ha combinable crops farm is the subject of our Case Study 13  and has been using a nominal 12 m OutTrac CTF system since 2012, although not everything was in place until 2013. James designed his system around a common internal distance of 1.8 m between the inside edge of his vehicle's tyres or tracks. This approach has provided him with a nominal tracked area of just under 14%. PX Farms is featured in Horsch's "Talking CTF
This spring he established a large area of sugar beet with shallow non-inversion tillage. For this crop he used a 6 m wide planter and hopes to be harvesting on a similar scale. I walked these fields on 22 May and not only did the crop look good, the soil was soft to walk on. It was obvious that worms also liked these conditions as their underground predators were also in attendance in the form of moles. Speaking of moles, James has designed his CTF layouts to accommodate mole ploughing by taking account of principle slopes when setting his A-B lines. All in all, there will be much to see and learn on this visit.

Padco wheel extension

Padco wheel extension in front axle of John Deere tractor at PX Farms

Sugar beet sown within a CTF system at PX FarmsSugar beet crop on 22 May 2015 sown with 6 m planter within the 6/12 m CTF system

Paul Cripsey, F.B. Parrish & Sons, Lodge Farm, Chicksands, Bedfordshire

The 720 ha farmed is divided between five farms operating under various agreements. Soil types vary from heavy clays to the lightest of sands with much variation within fields. 495 ha is devoted to combinable crops, 160 ha to alliums and 65 ha to potatoes.
This farm is unique in that it integrates its vegetable cropping regime (using equipment based on a 1.83 m track gauge) with its combinable crops. Grain harvesting is provided by a contractor (also a CTF farmer but with a different GNSS provider) who autosteers a 12 m cutting platform at 10.98 m (6 x 1.83). Machinery for harvesting aliums and potatoes is still incompatible, so repair operations are required before the traffic lanes are re-established in their original position. We will also see some direct drilling trials during our visit.

Windrowing 3 beds into 2

Windrowing 3 beds into 2 at F.B. Parrish & Sons

Potato ridges at F.B. Parrish & Sons

Only when we have "gantry" farming can we avoid traffic running this deep in the profile.
(see pre-conference tour)

Roding Valley Farming Ltd, Ongar, Essex

The 700 ha farmed by this company is divided between eight sites within a 10 mile (16 km) radius, and is operating under various contract farming arrangements. The farm is in transition to a 5/10 m CTF system and will be growing all combinable crops including wheat, oilseed rape, winter and spring barley, spring beans and dry peas. The visit aims to demonstrate the challenges involved in setting up a CTF system when different farms and businesses are involved. Although most of the machinery is now in place to make the transition to CTF, the drill width is incompatible and ploughing will still be practised on occasions.
We will hear from the Directors of the company (Donald McGowan and Chris Metson) as well as James Green, the present manager who will join us but will have taken up a new post when our visit takes place.

Costs for this event

The cost will vary depending on how we arrange transport for the tour. If we book a coach to take us on the 125 mile (200 km) round trip, the maximum cost per person will be £65 (€90), but if we have sufficient cars and people prepared to take three passengers, the cost will either be similar or lower, depending on numbers. People who volunteer to transport passengers will get a 50% reduction; we will need volunteers by end of May latest please - contact Tim below.


If you would like to join this tour, please contact Tim Chamen and put CTF2015 UK Tour in the subject line of your e-mail. Tim will then forward an invoice that can be paid by PayPal, credit card or bank transfer (bank fees may apply).
If you are within the EU but not in the UK, you should be able to avoid paying UK VAT by providing a valid VAT number in your e-mail.

Hotels in Stansted locality

There are a lot of hotels close to Stansted airport, a range of which you can view here. Use this site to find the range of hotels but you might get a better deal if you book directly with the hotel site.
Premier Inn for example presently offers a room for £35 but if you have a car, there is a parking charge in addition. There is a restaurant alongside the Inn where you can get breakfast and dinner.
Holiday Inn Express has rooms at £67 and like the Premier Inn, has a bus stop for the shuttle bus to Stansted airport within a short walk of the hotel. The shuttle bus has a charge of £3 for a single journey.
Days Inn is a little further from the airport but has free parking and a choice of restaurants alongside. Price at the moment for a room on the night of 21 June is £44. Transport to the airport would be by taxi. 
You can see a map of the Shuttle Bus service here and its pick up points. I can't find a timetable for the service but it seems to run from Bay 28 at the airport.

UK: Tim Chamen
+44 7714 206 048

Netherlands: Sander Bernaerts

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