To study the effects of a range of amounts of straw incorporated into the soil on winter wheat
This experiment, along with the Rothamsted 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 experiment was discontinued after the 2017 harvest. No yields were recorded in 2016 and 2017.
Winter wheat was grown for the 3 years prior to the experiment starting
Site followed standard farm management practice for cultivation and pest control.
Well drained sandy loam soil of the Lowlands Series.
temperate oceanic climate
Design period: (1987—2017)
Randomized complete block design
Plots were 3m x 14.5m. Soil was sampled from all treatments after 7, 11 and 22 years of contrasting straw treatments
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
crop residue management exposure
Chopped wheat straw applied annually before sowing.
Plot application: Whole plot
All crop residues were removed.
normal (5 t/ha)
2 x normal (20 t/ha)
4 x normal (20 t/ha)
grain yield trait
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