Woburn Market Garden

Local identifier
W/RN/4
Years operational
1942—2006
Objective
To study the effects of bulky organic manures, farmyard manure, sewage sludge and two types of compost in building up an agricultural soil for the growth of Market Garden crops. Certain plots were treated with fertilisers alone to provide controls for the organic treatments.
Description
The experiment was grass from 1974 to 1982. When concerns were expressed in the late 1970s about the heavy metal content of sewage sludges being applied to agricultural land, the experiment was “reactivated” to examine the fate of metals that had been applied in the sewage sludge between 1942 and 1961. More recently, the experiment has been used to evaluate the effectiveness of hyperaccumulator plants, i.e. plants that can naturally accumulate large amounts of metals from soils and which, potentially, could be used to “clean up” soils contaminated with heavy metals. Part of the experiment was physically moved in 2005 and in 2006 the whole experiment was sown to grass.
Farm operation data?
Sample archive?
Samples available?
 
Data Access Statement
Available to any researcher on request
Data license
CC BY
Data policy
Yes (not online)
Organizations
Rothamsted Research
research organisation
BBSRC
funding agency
People
Dr Steve McGrath
principal investigator
Rothamsted Research
Sustainable Agricultural Systems
Dr Sarah Perryman
data manager
Rothamsted Research
Computational and Analytical Sciences

Site: Lansome I

Type
research farm
Location
Husborne Crawley
Bedfordshire
United Kingdom
Geographic location
52.013017, -0.599183
© OpenStreetMap contributors
Elevation
92 Metres
Visits permitted?
Yes
Visiting arrangements
By arrangement with Dr Andy Macdonald
Climatic type
temperate oceanic climate

Design period: First Period (1942—1950)

Design description
The experiment had two series, each growing a separate phase of a two year rotation. Each series was split into 4 blocks of 10 plots.
Number of blocks
8
Number of plots
80
Number of harvests per year
2
Crops
CropYears grown
cabbages
peas
leeks
beetroot
Crop Rotation
Unnamed
  • 1
    beetroot
    cabbages
  • 2
    peas
    leeks
Factors
natural fertilizer exposure
Amendments were applied in winter before beetroot and peas
Plot application: Whole plot
farmyard manure
sewage sludge
straw compost
Made with sewage sludge and straw
vegetable compost
Made with farm waste and farmyard manure
nitrogen fertilizer exposure
N0 and N1 applied both with and without the organics and N2 and N3 applied without organics only. The N rate refers to the total applied over the two year rotation period.
Plot application: Whole plot
N0  (0 )
N1  (75 kgN/ha)
Applied to crop: All crops
Application frequency: annually in spring
Application method: broadcast application method
Chemical form: ammonium sulfate
N2  (150 kgN/ha)
Chemical form: ammonium sulfate
N3  (225 kgN/ha)
Chemical form: ammonium sulfate

Design period: Second Period (1951—1961)

Description
Potatoes were introduced as a result of repeated crop failures in spring cabbages.
Crops
CropYears grown
beetroot
cabbages
leeks
potatoes
Crop Rotations
Bt-Ca-Le  1951—1955
  • 1
    beetroot
    cabbages
    spring cabbage
  • 2
    leeks
Bt-P-Le  1956—1961
  • 1
    beetroot
    potatoes
    early potatoes
  • 2
    leeks
Factors
natural fertilizer exposure
Plot application: Whole plot
farmyard manure
sewage sludge
straw compost
Made with sewage sludge and straw
vegetable compost
Made with farm waste and farmyard manure
nitrogen fertilizer exposure
N0 and N1 applied both with and without the organics and N2 and N3 applied without organics only. The N rate refers to the total applied over the two year rotation period.
Plot application: Whole plot
N0
N1  (37 kgN/ha)
Chemical form: calcium ammonium nitrate
N2  (75 kgN/ha)
Chemical form: calcium ammonium nitrate
N3  (113 kgN/ha)
Chemical form: calcium ammonium nitrate

Design period: Third Period (1962—1973)

Description
The Experiment continued with comparisons of Nitrogen rates and organic manuring with various crops grown, although application of sewage sludges was discontinued.
Crops
CropYears grown
leeks
beetroot
potatoes
carrots
rye
beans
grass leys
grass clover leys
Factors
nitrogen fertilizer exposure
N applied at various rates. Rates depend on the crop.
natural fertilizer exposure
grass-clover ley
grass ley
straw  (7.5 t/ha)
As chopped barley straw
peat  (7.5 t/ha)
As sedge peat
green manure
As practicable depending on the arable crop grown
None
farmyard manure  (50 t/ha)
Replaced vegetable compost. 25 t/ha in 1967 and 1970
PKMg Equivalent
No organic manure but P, K and Mg applied at equivalent rates to that in the farmyard manure treatment

Design period: Grass period (1974—1982)

Description
To study the residual effects of fertilisers and organic manures. No yields were taken and no new treatments were applied during this period.
Crops
CropYears grown
fallow
rye grass

Design period: Reactivated Period (1983—2005)

Description
The experiment was reactivated to determine the fate of metals applied in the sewage sludge between 1942 and 1961. No new treatments were applied. Since 2006 the experiment has been in grass
Number of blocks
8
Number of plots
80
Crops
CropYears grown
beetroot
carrots
barley
white clover

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