Reeder’s research on soil compaction highlights potential yield gains from controlled traffic systems, which are designed to concentrate compaction in traffic lanes and avoid compaction across the rest of the field.

“Our research, which is comparable to research around the world, shows that we are losing 10% of yield because of compaction,” Reeder says. His research mimicked random traffic patterns typical on many farms, which can result in traffic covering 80 to 90% of a field over a two-year period.

Reeder pegs net yield gains from a rigorous controlled traffic system at 5 to 8%, since yield will still be suppressed in rows adjacent to controlled-traffic lanes.