Woburn Continuous Barley

Local identifier
W/XB/6
Years operational
1877—1966
Objective
To study the effects of fertilisers and manures on the yield of spring barley grown continuously
Description
This experiment is almost identical to the Hoosfield Barley experiments at Rothamsted, but at Woburn. It started in spring 1877, on Woburn Stackyard field. There is a parallel experiment on Continuous Wheat which started in 1876, with the same plot numbers. The experiments were carried out by the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) but with input from Lawes.
Data Access Statement
Available online with registration
Data license
CC BY
Data policy
Yes (not online)
Organization
Rothamsted Research
research organisation
People
Dr Margaret Glendining
data manager
Rothamsted Research
Research Data and Systems
Dr Andy Gregory
experiment manager
Rothamsted Research
Protecting Crops and the Environment

Site: Continuous barley experiment, Woburn Stackyard

Type
research station field
Local code
Stackyard Field
Location
Husborne Crawley
Bedfordshire
United Kingdom
Geographic location
52.0003, -0.6149
© OpenStreetMap contributors
Elevation
89 Metres
Visits permitted?
No
History
In grass for at least 50 years by the early 1820s, probably ploughed in 1830s. In arable crops in the 1860s. Four-course rotation of roots, barley, hay and wheat. FYM applied to the root crops.
Management
Conventional management and tillage for the time.
Soil type
Eutric Rubic Arenosol
Soil description
Sandy loam, Stackyard series.
Soil properties
VariableDepthValue (range)UnitsRef yearEstimated?Baseline?
soil total carbon0 – 23 Centimetres1.5 Percent1876
total soil nitrogen0 – 23 Centimetres0.156 percent1876
soil pH0 – 23 Centimetres6.1 1876
clay content0 – 23 Centimetres11.7 Percent1876
Climatic type
temperate oceanic climate

Design period: Period 1 (1877—1926)

Design Type
Demonstration strip design
Description
Continuous spring barley, to mirror the Hoosfield barley experiment at Rothamsted. A range of fertilizer and manure treatments similar to those on Hoosfield, including unmanured. Lime applied to some sub-plots from 1898. First crop sown in spring 1877.
Design description
11 main plots, receiving different fertilizer and manure treatments. Some were split into up to 4 sub-plots with and without lime, as the soil became more acidic.
Number of plots
11
Number of subplots
2
Number of replicates
1
Number of harvests per year
1
Crop
CropYears grown
spring barley
Factors
Factor name
Factor levels
liming exposure
Lime applied as treatments to some sub-plots where soils became acidic
nitrogen fertilizer exposure
Testing different types of N (ammonium sulphate v sodium nitrate) in some plots, and different rates of N in others.
farmyard manure exposure
3 rates of FYM: 0, 10 and 20 t/ha.
Measurements
VariableMaterialUnitsFrequencyScaleComment
grain yield traitspring barleyt/haannuallyGrain and straw yields at field moisture content, approximately 85% dry matter.
nitrogen contentspring barleykgN/haannuallyN content of barley grain 1883-1926.
total soil nitrogenSoil%infrequentMeasured in 1876, 1888, 1898, 1916, 1922, 1927, 1932.
soil pHSoilinfrequentMeasured in 1876, 1888, 1898, 1916, 1922, 1927, 1932
soil total carbonSoil%infrequentMeasured in 1876, 1888, 1898, 1916, 1922, 1927, 1932
exchangeable CalciumSoil%infrequentMeasured in 1876, 1888, 1898, 1916, 1922, 1927, 1932

Design period: Period 2 (1927—1958)

Design Type
Demonstration strip design
Description
From 1927-1940 there were two cycles of two years fallow (no crop) followed by five years cropping. The bare fallows were in 1927, 1928, 1934, 1935. No manures or fertilizers were applied, except to plots 8, 9, 10a and 11a, which received combinations of NPK. From 1941-1942 N fertilizer was applied to all plots. In 1943 the plots were divided into four groups, and 3 rates of N applied. Plots 2, 5 and 8 (which had received ammonium sulphate in Period 1) were not included in this scheme and were fallowed throughout. All plots were fallowed in 1947, 1948, 1949, 1956, 1957. In 1952 and 1953 the plots were divided to compare winter and spring-sown barley.
Design description
Same design as the Woburn Continuous Wheat Experiment. Plots divided into four groups according to previous fertilizer and manure treatment in Period 1. Each group of plots received fertilizer N (39, 78, 118 kgN/ha) over a three year cycle. Plots 1, 3, 7 (previously no P or K); Plots 4, 6, 9 (previously PK); Plot 11b (previously FYM); Plots 10a, 10b, 11a (various treatments).
Number of plots
10
Number of subplots
1
Number of replicates
1
Number of harvests per year
1
Crop
CropYears grown
spring barley
Factor
Factor name
Factor levels
nitrogen fertilizer exposure
Three rates applied (39, 78, 118 kgN/ha) as nitro chalk, on four groups of three plots. The N rates were rotated.
Measurement
VariableMaterialUnitsFrequencyScaleComment
grain yield traitspring barleyt/haannuallyGrain and straw yields at 85% dry matter.

Design period: Period 3 (1959—1966)

Design Type
Demonstration strip design
Description
Much of the site was used for micro-plot experiments, and soil structure experiments. The rest of the experiment was fallow in 1963, 1965 and 1966.
Design description
Various comparisons of variety, residual effects of P and K, soil structure, etc.
Number of plots
11
Number of subplots
1
Number of replicates
1
Number of harvests per year
1
Crops
CropYears grown
spring barley
spring oats
spring beans
Measurement
VariableMaterialUnitsFrequencyScaleComment
grain yield traitAll cropst/haannuallyGrain and straw yields at 85% dry matter.

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