Although controlled traffic farming (CTF) is an environmentally friendly soil management system, no quantitative evaluation of environmental benefits is available. This paper aims at establishing a framework for quantitative evaluation of the environmental benefits of CTF, considering a list of environmental benefits, namely, reducing soil compaction, runoff/erosion, energy requirement and greenhouse gas emission (GHG), conserving organic matter, enhancing soil biodiversity and fertiliser use efficiency. Based on a comprehensive literature review and the European Commission Soil Framework Directive, the choice of and the weighting of the impact of each of the environmental benefits were made. The framework was validated using data from three selected farms. For Colworth farm (Unilever, UK), the framework predicted the largest overall environmental benefit of 59.3% of the theoretically maximum achievable benefits (100%), as compared to the other two farms in Scotland (52%) and Australia (47.3%). This overall benefit could be broken down into: reducing soil compaction (24%), tillage energy requirement (10%) and GHG emissions (3%), enhancing soil biodiversity (7%) and erosion control (6%), conserving organic matter (6%), and improving fertiliser use efficiency (3%). Similar evaluation can be performed for any farm worldwide, providing that data on soil properties, topography, machinery, and weather are available.
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