Rothamsted Amounts of Straw

Local identifier
Years operational
To study the effects of a range of amounts of straw incorporated into the soil on winter wheat.
This experiment, along with the Woburn Amounts of Straw experiment provides a comparison of soil organic matter dynamics in contrasting soil types, at Rothamsted (a silty clay loam) and at Woburn (a sandy loam). The experiments have been used to study soil structure and earthworm activity. The findings at Rothamsted can be compared with those from section 0 on Broadbalk where straw is also incorporated. The experiment was discontinued after the 2017 harvest. No yields were recorded in 2016 and 2017.
Data Access Statement
Available to any researcher on request
Data Access Notes
Contact the e-RA curators:
Data license
Data policy
Yes (not online)
Rothamsted Research
research organisation
Dr Margaret Glendining
data manager
Rothamsted Research
Intelligent Data Ecosystems

Site: Great Knott III

research station field
United Kingdom
Geographic location
51.811069, -0.380251
© OpenStreetMap contributors
125 Metres
Visits permitted?
Visiting arrangements
The experiment was finished in 2017, so it is no longer possible to visit the site.
Winter wheat was grown for the 3 years prior to the experiment starting
Fertiliser, lime and pest control according to standard farm practice.
Soil type
Soil description
Moderately well-drained flinty silty clay loam of the Batcombe and related series. Aquic Paleudalf in the USDA classification.
Soil properties
VariableDepthValue (range)UnitsRef yearEstimated?Baseline?
clay content0 – 23 Centimetres (22 – 24) Percent
soil pH0 – 23 Centimetres7.63 (7.34 – 7.83) 2008
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: Main period (1987—2017)

Design Type
Randomized complete block design
Plots measure 40m2. Soil was sampled from all treatments after 7, 11 and 22 years of contrasting straw treatments
Design description
Wheat straw was incorporated annually at a rate of none, once, twice, and four times the yield of straw the previous year (approximately 0, 5, 10 and 20 t/ha)
Number of blocks
Number of plots
Number of replicates
Number of harvests per year
CropYears grown
Factor name
Factor levels
crop residue management process
Chopped wheat straw applied annually before sowing.
Plot application: Whole plot
control exposure  (0 t/ha)
All crop residues were removed.
Normal  (5 t/ha)
2 x normal  (10 t/ha)
4 x normal  (20 t/ha)
grain yield traitwheatt/haannualplot
total soil nitrogenSoil%occasionallyplotTotal N by LECO
soil organic carbonSoil%occasionallyTotal C by LECO minus CaCO3

Related publications

  • Sizmur, T. , Martin, E. , Wagner, K. , Parmentier, E. , Watts, C. and Whitmore, A. P. (2017) "Milled cereal straw accelerates earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) growth more than selected organic amendments", Applied Soil Ecology, 113, 166-177
  • Jenkyn, J. F. , Christian, D. G. , Bacon, E. T. G. , Gutteridge, R. J. and Todd, A. D. (2001) "Effects of incorporating different amounts of straw on growth, diseases and yield of consecutive crops of winter wheat grown on contrasting soil types", Journal of Agricultural Science, 136, 1-14
  • Powlson, D. S. , Glendining, M. J. , Coleman, K. and Whitmore, A. P. (2011) "Implications for Soil Properties of Removing Cereal Straw: Results from Long-Term Studies", Agronomy Journal, 103, 279-287
  • Sizmur, T. , Martin, E. , Wagner, K. , Parmentier, E. , Watts, C. W. and Whitmore, A. P. (2019) "Corrigendum to “Milled cereal straw accelerates earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) growth more than selected organic amendments” [Appl. Soil Ecol. 113 (2017) 116–177]", Applied Soil Ecology, 142, 199-200
  • Fraaije, B. , Atkins, S. , Hanley, S. , Macdonald, A. and Lucas, J. (2020) "The Multi-Fungicide Resistance Status of Aspergillus fumigatus populations in Arable Soils and the Wider European Environment", Frontiers in Microbiology, 11, 599233