Introduction to ACTFA

By Chris Bluett, ACTFA Vice Chairman

The Australian Controlled Traffic Farming Association (ACTFA Inc.) is a not for profit run by volunteers from across the grains and horticulture industries.

It was formed in 2007 by people who saw CTF as the best way to enhance soils used for plant production and to improve crop productivity in Australia. The founders included the people who developed and promoted CTF in districts such as Central Queensland, the growers and agronomists who developed raised bed cropping in South-west Victoria, and people from other regions including NSW.

ACTFA’s membership list currently has 700 names on it from all parts of Australia and includes grain growers, horticulturists, and a range of agricultural professionals. ACTFA has strong links with organisations in other countries including Europe and America.

ACTFA’s activities have included CTF conferences, projects and some advocacy and policy work such as submissions to Parliamentary enquiries.

After running several small projects, ACTFA obtained funding and became the lead agency for two larger projects. A recently completed one, funded by the Australian Government’s “Action on the Ground (AOTG)” program, showed that wheel tracks produce more greenhouse gases than un-trafficked beds, and thereby lose more nitrogen to the atmosphere. This means that increasing the adoption of CTF systems across Australia would greatly reduce the GHG emissions from crop production and save farmers large amounts of valuable nitrogen.

A current project funded by GRDC attempts to answer farmers questions about CTF in the South-eastern Australian low rainfall zone, where adoption rates are lower than almost any cropping zone in the country.

All large ACTFA projects are conducted by partnerships set up and led by ACTFA. Project partners include a wide range of people and organisations, such as universities, state government agencies, farming system groups and agronomists.


Our mission is to protect and improve natural resources in order to ensure that Australia’s agricultural future is more sustainable, productive and profitable


Improving the profitability and sustainability of Australian agriculture through the promotion and support of controlled traffic farming systems.


To reduce the incidence of soil compaction throughout Australia through the adoption of Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) techniques throughout Australia.

To help develop and share practical CTF techniques and ideas across every soil-dependent agricultural industry in Australia.

ACTFA 2018 Strategic Plan Update

The ACTFA Board has consisted for some years of a small number of stalwart members who have kept the association flourishing. They have recently been joined by several new people who are already making a significant contribution.

Planning undertaken by those Board members has identified the key areas which must be addressed if ACTFA is to continue to grow and achieve its goals of CTF development and adoption.

One key area that needs to be resolved is further Board renewal. ACTFA needs more new people who can inject fresh ideas and insights to take the organisation forward in the coming years.

The Association has recently appointed a National Business Manager to help with many new initiatives, and new people who join the Board will be doing so at an exciting time for ACTFA.

Tasks being commenced by the existing board include:

  • Generation of on-farm and science-based evidence of the success of CTF
  • A sponsorship program to fund the organisation
  • Development of ‘products’ (information, training etc.) based on the science of CTF
  • Expansion of ACTFA to an organisation wholly engaged in all aspects of the development and adoption of CTF
  • Development of, and contribution to, policy positions related to CTF
  • Collaboration and alliances with other farming/special interest groups
  • Education
  • A revamped website outlining a new Vision, Mission & Goals

Progress has already been made. ACTFA has contributed to some major Commonwealth Government policy initiatives and has established collaboration and alliances with a number of farming systems groups through joining the Victorian Grower Groups Alliance (VGGA).

ACTFA has also been engaged in discussions with various groups and organisations in an effort to embed CTF as an essential part of a number of new soils and spatial information research and development initiatives.