Hoosfield Barley

Local identifier
R/HB/2
Years operational
1852—
Objective
To test the effects of different inorganic fertilizers (supplying the elements N, P, K Mg and sodium silicate) and farmyard manure (FYM) on the yield of spring barley (Hordeum vulgare)
Description
Started in 1852, spring barley has been grown continuously on the site since then. The experiment offers interesting contrasts to Broadbalk; because it is spring sown it has only been necessary to fallow it four times to control weeds and it tests not only nitrogen, minerals and FYM but also sodium silicate.
Farm operation data?
Sample archive?
Samples available?
 
Data Access Statement
Available online with registration
Data license
CC BY
Data URL
http://www.era.rothamsted.ac.uk/Hoosfield
Data policy
Yes (not online)
Organization
Rothamsted Research
research organisation
People
Dr Andy Macdonald
principal investigator
Rothamsted Research
Sustainable Agricultural Systems
 
Dr Margaret Glendining
data manager
Rothamsted Research
Computational and Analytical Sciences
Dr Sarah Perryman
data manager
Rothamtsed Research
Computational and Analytical Sciences

Site: Hoosfield

Type
research station field
Local code
R/HB/2
Location
Harpenden
Hertfordshire
United Kingdom
Geographic location
51.81206, -0.37608
© OpenStreetMap contributors
Elevation
130 Metres
Visits permitted?
Yes
Visiting arrangements
Contact Andy Macdonald
History
The Hoosfield Spring Barley experiment was started in 1852 on a 1.7 hectare (4.25 acre) site, to test the effects of organic manure and inorganic fertilizer on the growth of spring barley. The site has probably been occupied since Roman times, and the Rothamsted map of 1623 shows the site under arable cultivation. Before the experiment started the following arable crops were grown: turnips (with FYM and superphosphate) 1847, barley 1848, clover 1849, wheat 1850, barley (with ammonium salts) 1851.
Management
The site is managed using conventional tillage and pesticide applications are applied as necessary. The plough layer (0-23 m) is limed when necessary to maintain a minimum soil pH of 7.0 – 7.5. There is no irrigation.
Soil type
luvisol
Soil description
Flinty silty clay loam topsoil over clay-with–flints (Avery and Catt, 1995). The soils contain a large number of flints and are slightly calcareous. Below about 2m depth the soil becomes chalk. The experiment is under-drained and the site is free draining.
Soil properties
VariableDepthValue (range)UnitsRef yearEstimated?Baseline?
clay content0 – 23 Centimetres20 Percent
silt content0 – 23 Centimetres52 Percent
sand content0 – 23 Centimetres28 Percent
Climatic type
temperate oceanic climate
Climate properties
VariableTime periodValue (range)Units
precipitation 1981 – 2010 733 (515.5 – 973.5) millimeter
air temperature 1981 – 2010 9.8 (8.51 – 10.89) degree Celsius

Design period: Period 1 (1852—1967)

Design Type
Demonstration strip design
Description
20 large plots and 4 small plots. 16 large plots with 4 different types of fertilizer N and 4 different PK treatments in a factorial design (strips 1-4); 4 large plots with 4 different organic manure treatments (strips 6 & 7); 4 small plots (strip 5) with different NPK treatments (details not given in this description). From 1862 some plots included a test of silicate. Spring barley grown every year except 1912, 1933, 1943 and 1967 when the whole experiment was fallowed to control weeds.
Design description
Four combinations of nutrients were tested in a factorial design (strips 1-4): 0 v P v KMgNa v PKMgNa. This series was crossed by four series testing either no N or three forms of N usually applied at 48kgNha-1 (Series O, no N; Series A, ammonium sulphate; Series AA, sodium nitrate; Series C, rape cake, later castor meal). Four additional plots test: unmanured (plot 61); ashes, 1852-1932 (plot 62); residues of FYM applied 1852-1871 (plot 71); FYM since 1852 (plot 72). The sodium nitrate series was divided in 1862 for a test of with and without sodium silicate, to see what effect this had on straw strength, which was used in large quantities in the local hat factories at that time.
Number of plots
16
Number of subplots
2
Number of replicates
1
Number of harvests per year
1
Crop
CropYears grown
Spring barley 1852—
Factors
nitrogen fertilizer exposure
nitrogen fertilizer in various forms applied annually
ammonium sulphate (Series A)  (48 kgN/ha)
1852—1966
Applied to crop: Spring barley
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: ammonium sulfate
Applied in the spring.
sodium nitrate (Series AA) plots 1AA-4AA  (48 kgN/ha)
1852—1966
Applied to crop: Spring barley
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: sodium sulphate
Applied in spring.
castor meal (Series C) Plots 1C-4C  (48 kgN/ha)
1852—1967
Application frequency: annually
Castor bean meal since 1941, rape cake 1852-1940.
No nitrogen (Series O) Plots 1O-4O
1852—1967
phosphate fertilizer exposure
P  (35 kgP/ha)
1852—1966
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: triple superphosphate
applied in the spring
potassium fertilizer exposure (KNaMg)
inorganic potassium fertilizer applied, along with 11kgMg and 16kgNa fertilizer
KNaMg  (90 kgK/ha)
1852—1966
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: potassium sulphate
Applied in the spring, along with 16kgNa/ha as sodium sulphate and 11kgMg/ha as magnesium sulphate
farmyard manure exposure
Annual applicaton of cattle farmyard manure (FYM)
FYM strip 72  (35 t/ha)
1852—1967
Application frequency: annuallty
Applied before ploughing usually in the autumn
FYM-residue strip 71  (35 t/ha)
1852—1871
Application frequency: annually
Applied before ploughing usually in the autumn for 20 years only
None strip 61
1852—1967
No FYM or inorganic fertilizer applied
Ashes strip 62
1852—1932
Ashes were added to inorganic P, KNaMg fertilizers to aid spreading. This is a test of the ashes alone. Not applied 1928, 1929.
silicon nutrient exposure
Series AA 4 large plots divided into 8 sub-plots testing silicate (AA and AAS) from 1862
silicate AAS  (450 kg/ha)
1862—1967
Applied to crop: Spring barley
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: sodium silicate
Silicate test on Series AA only 450 kg/ha calcium silicate and sodium silicate 1862-1867.
No silicate AA  (0 kg/ha)
1862—1967
Silicate test on Series AA only
nil
No P, K, Na or Mg applied since 1852. Strip 1
Measurements
VariableMaterialUnitsFrequencyScaleComment
yield componentsSpring barleyt/haannuallyGrain and straw yields at field moisture content, approximately 85% dry matter.
soil organic carbonSoilt/haoccasionallyTopsoil (0-23cm) from soil sampled in 1852, 1882, 1913, 1946 and 1965.
soil total nitrogenSoil%occasionallyTopsoil (0-23cm) from soil sampled in 1852, 1882, 1913, 1946 and 1965.
soil bulk densityNot specifiedg/cm3occasionallyTopsoil (0-23cm) from soil sampled in 1852, 1882, 1913, 1946 and 1965.

Design period: Period 2 Rotation (1968—1978)

Design Type
Split split plot
Description
A comparison of spring barley grown continuously or in rotation with potatoes and beans. Each also tested 4 N rates.
Design description
The 8 large plots of Series AA and C werer each divided into 16 sub-subplots in 1968. A test of rotation or continuous barley was carried out on the sub-plots. Four N rates were tested on the sub-sub plots. The 8 main plots tested 4 combinations of nutrients in a factorial design (strips 1-4): 0 v P v KMgNa v PKMgNa, crossed by 2 series testing two forms of N applied 1852-1967, AA (sodium nitrate) and C (castor bean meal) at 48kgN/ha.
Number of plots
8
Number of subplots
16
Number of replicates
1
Number of harvests per year
1
Crops
CropYears grown
spring barley
potatoes
field beans
Crop Rotations
Series C rotation  1968—1978
  • 1
    spring barley
  • 2
    field beans
  • 3
    potatoes
Series AA rotation  1968—1978
  • 1
    spring barley
  • 2
    field beans
  • 3
    potatoes
Factors
nitrogen fertilizer exposure
Inorganic nitrogen fertilizer in various amounts applied annually to split plots on the rotation plots.
N0  (0 )
1968—1978
Nil treatment
N1  (48 kgN/ha)
1968—1978
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: ammonium nitrate
Applied in the spring
N2  (96 kgN/ha)
1968—1978
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: ammonium nitrate
Applied in the spring
N3  (144 kgN/ha)
1968—1978
Chemical form: ammonium nitrate
Applied in the spring
phosphate fertilizer exposure
phosphate fertilizer applied annually
P  (34 kgP/ha)
1968—1978
Applied to crop: All crops
Chemical form: triple superphosphate
Applied before ploughing usually in the autumn
potassium fertilizer exposure (KNaMg)
inorganic potassium fertilizer applied annually, along with 11kgMg and 16kgNa fertilizer
KNaMg  (90 kgK/ha)
1968—1978
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: potassium sulphate
Applied before ploughing, usually in the autumn, with 11kgMg and 16kgNa fertilizer
Measurements
VariableMaterialUnitsFrequencyScaleComment
yield componentsAll cropst/haannuallygrain and straw yields at 85% dry matter
crop nutrient dataspring barley%annuallyGrain and straw %N, P, K, Ca, Mg and Na since 1970.
thousand grain weightNot specifiedgannuallyselected plots only from 1974 onwards
soil organic carbonSoil%1975 selected plots
soil total nitrogenSoil%1975 selected plots
soil bulk densitySoilg/cm31975 selected plots

Design period: Period 2 Main plots (1968—1978)

Design Type
Split-plot, with 4 N treatments (0, 48, 96 and 144 kg N/ha) as the sub plots.
Description
Continuation of main layout of middle period, continuous spring barley only. Main plots only, Old Series O, A and C. See Middle period Silicate plots for test of Silicate.
Design description
Continuation of main layout of middle period, continuous spring barley only. 16 Main Plots testing various combinations of P, KNaMg, and FYM, on three earlier N treatments; Series O (no fertilizer N); Series A (48 kgN as ammonium sulphate) and Series C (48kg N as castor bean meal) 1852-1967 (see Early period 1).
Number of plots
16
Number of subplots
4
Number of replicates
1
Number of harvests per year
1
Crop
CropYears grown
spring barley
Factors
nitrogen fertilizer exposure
Inorganic nitrogen fertilizer in various amounts applied annually to split plots
N0  (0 )
SInce 1981 the N rates rotate annually, N3>N2>N1>N0
N1  (48 kgN/ha)
1968—
Applied to crop: spring barley
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: calcium ammonium nitrate
Applied in spring. SInce 1981 the N rates rotate annually, N3>N2>N1>N0
N2  (96 kgN/ha)
1968—
Applied to crop: spring barley
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: calcium ammonium nitrate
Applied in spring. SInce 1981 the N rates rotate annually, N3>N2>N1>N0
N3  (144 kgN/ha)
1968—
Applied to crop: spring barley
Chemical form: calcium ammonium nitrate
Applied in spring. SInce 1981 the N rates rotate annually, N3>N2>N1>N0
phosphate fertilizer exposure
inorganic phosphorus fertilizer applied annually since 1852
P  (35 kgP/ha)
1852—2002
Applied to crop: spring barley
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: triple superphosphate
Applied in autumn before ploughing.
potassium fertilizer exposure
Inorganic potassium fertilizer applied annually since 1852, with inorganic Mg.
KMg  (90 kgK/ha)
1852—
Applied to crop: spring barley
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: potassium sulphate
Applied before ploughing in autumn. Applied annually since 1852 with 35kgMg as Kieserite every three years. 16kgNa/ha applied annually as sodium sulphate until 1978.
farmyard manure exposure
farmyard manure in various amounts and periods of application
FYM strip 72  (35 t/ha)
1852—
Application frequency: annually
Applied before ploughing in autumn. Continuation of FYM treatment from early and middle period.
FYM-residue strip 71  (35 t/ha)
1852—1871
Application frequency: annually
Continuation of FYM-residue treatment from early and middle period.
None strip 61
No FYM applied. Continuation of Early and Middle Period treatment.
Ash strip 62
1852—1932
Continuation of treatment from Early and Middle period.
silicon nutrient exposure
Inorganic silicate fertilizer in various amounts and periods of previous application
Si, Series AA  (450 kg/ha)
1980—
Chemical form: sodium silicate
Applied before ploughing in the autumn.
(Si), Series AA  (450 kg/ha)
1862—1979
Chemical form: sodium silicate
Applied before ploughing in autumn
Measurements
VariableMaterialUnitsFrequencyScaleComment
yield componentsspring barleyt/haannuallyGrain and straw yields at 85% dry matter.
crop nutrient contentspring barley%annuallyGrain and straw %N, P, K, Ca, Mg and Na since 1979, %S since 1996, from main plots only.
thousand grain weightspring barleygannuallyselected plots only from 1974 onwards
soil organic carbonSoil%infrequently1982, 1998, 2000 on selected plots only. 0-23cm. Some subsoil data also available in 2000.
total soil nitrogenSoil%infreqently1982, 1998, 2000 on selected plots only. 0-23cm. Some subsoil data also available in 2000.
plant available phosphorousSoilmg/kginfreqently1982, 1998, 2000 on selected plots only. 0-23cm. Some subsoil data also available in 2000.
soil pHSoilinfreqently1982, 1998, 2008 on selected plots only. 0-23cm. Some subsoil data in 1998.
Exchangeable cationsSoilinfreqentlyExchangeable Ca, Mg, K, and Na, 1982 and 2000, selected plots. 0-23cm soil layer.

Design period: Period 3 Silicate treatments (1979—2000)

Design Type
Split-plot
Description
Continuation of main layout of middle period, continuous spring barley only. The testing of sodium silicates (Series AA) was modified in 1980 to test: 0 v silicate 1862-1979 v silicate since 1980 v silicate since 1862.
Design description
Continuation of main layout of middle period, continuous spring barley only. Series AA was modified in 1980 to test: 0 v silicate 1862-1979 v silicate since 1980 v silicate since 1862. Two new plots testing P2KMg (plot 63) and FYM (plot 73) were introduced in 2001 and Strip 5 tested various other combinations of N, P, K and Mg.
Crops
CropYears grown

Design period: Period 3 Main plots (1979—2000)

Crops
CropYears grown

Design period: Current period Main plots (2001—)

Crops
CropYears grown

Design period: Current period Silicate test (2001—)

Crops
CropYears grown

Design period: Current period P test (2001—)

Crops
CropYears grown