Saxmundham II

Local identifier
S/RN/2
Years operational
1899—2010 (Establishment period end: 1968)
Objective
To investigate the effects of soil P and fresh fertilizer P on the yields of arable crops at a range of soil P values.
Description
The experiment consists of 8 Main Strips (originally 10). Between 1899 and 1968 various combinations of FYM and P fertilizer applied to these Main Strips resulted a wide range of Olsen P values (4-65 mg/kg Olsen P). By 1969 the eight strips were divided into four blocks (A, B, C and D) with 20 micro-plots in each strip. On each set of micro-plots within each Strip/Block five amounts of P fertilizer were tested on potatoes, sugar beet, spring barley and winter wheat). Yields and P uptake were measured and Soil Olsen P content.
Data Access Statement
Available to any researcher on request
Data license
CC BY
Data policy
Yes (not online)
Organization
Rothamsted Research
research organisation
People
Dr Andy Macdonald
principal investigator
Rothamsted Research
Sustainable Agricultural Systems
Paul Poulton
principal investigator
Rothamsted Research
SAS
Dr Margaret Glendining
data manager
Rothamsted Research
Computational and Analytical Sciences

Site: Saxmundham II

Type
research station field
Local code
S/RN/2
Location
Saxmundham
Suffolk
UK
Geographic location
52.221, 1.466
© OpenStreetMap contributors
Elevation
37 Metres
Visits permitted?
No
Visiting arrangements
None
History
Rothamsted relinquished the site in 2010
Management
The site is no longer managed as an experimental site.
Soil type
Eutric Gleysol
Soil description
Sandy clay loam developed in drift over Chalky boulder clay, Beccles Series
Climatic type
temperate oceanic climate
Climate properties
VariableTime periodValue (range)Units
precipitation 1968 – 1984 611 millimeter
air temperature 1969 – 1984 9.6 degree Celsius

Design period: Final period (1969—2010)

Description
Following the previous treatments, a wide range of Olsen P values (4-65 mg P/kg) had been established. The purpose of the revised experiment was to investigate the effects of soil P and fresh fertilizer P on the yields of arable crops at a range of soil P values (Johnston et al. 1986).
Design description
4 blocks (A, B, C, D) each containing 8 main strips (1-8), each divided into 5 micro-plots (01-20) (each 5.49 x 3.56 m). Cropping and treatments to the micro-plots were phased-in, with Blocks A and B starting in 1969 and Blocks C and D in 1970. On each set of micro-plots within each strip/Block five amounts of P fertilizer were tested. On each set of micro-plots within each Strip/Block, five amounts of P fertilizer were tested, P0, P0, P1, P2, P3 (0, 0, 27.4, 54.8, 82.2 kg P/ha). These were applied every second year (see '(a)' on plan). Between 1973-1975 on Blocks A & B (1974-1976 on blocks C & D) one of the P0 micro-plots remained as P0, two micro-plots received a total of 82.2 kg P/ha as 3 annual dressings each of 27.4 kg P/ha and two micro-plots received a total of 82.2 kg P/ha as one dressing only in 1973 (or 1974) (see '(b)' on plan). From autumn 1977 (or 1978) a 'maintenance' dressing of 52.4 kg P/ha was applied every second year to two of the micro-plots; no P was applied to the others (see 'c' on the plan). Some microplots received no further applications of manure or fertilizer P after 1968 by which time a wide range of Olsen P values had been established. The decline in Olsen P in each of the eight main treatment strips was measured and, by shifting the eight decay curves horizontally, a common decay curve could be fitted to the data (Johnston et al., 1986). The half-life, i.e. the time taken for Olsen P to decline by half from any given value to an asymptote (the lowest Olsen P value measured on the experiment), could be calculated (Johnston et al., 2016 and other papers). Data from the Rotation II experiment at Saxmundham has been included in a paper published in a special issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality to mark the 350th Anniversary of the discovery of phosphorus (Johnston & Poulton, 2019).
Number of blocks
4
Number of plots
8
Number of subplots
5
Number of replicates
4
Number of harvests per year
1
Crops
CropYears grown
potatoes 1969—1974
sugarbeet 1969—1974
winter wheat 1977—1986
barley 1970—1979
faba beans
Factor
Factor name
Factor levels
phosphate fertilizer exposure
Five amounts of P were tested, P0, P0, P1, P2 and P3. (0, 0, 27.4, 54.8 and 82.2 kg P /ha) applied to a range of existing soil P levels (4-65 mgP/ha). These were applied every two years.
Measurements
VariableMaterialUnitsFrequencyScaleComment
plant available phosphorousSoilmg/kgAnnual0-23cmOlsen P in soil 0-23cm, 1969-1984
yield componentsAll cropst/haannuallyCereal grain and straw yields, sugar yields from sugar beet and tuber yields from potatoes, 1970-1986
phosphorous contentAll cropskgP/haannuallyP uptake from cereal grain and straw, potato tubers, sugar from sugar beet. P uptake by beans (1980-1985) estimated.
soil organic carbonSoil%occasionally1969, 1977/78 and 1981/2. Measured by Tinsley, 0-23cm.
soil pHSoiloccasionally1969, 1977/78 and 1981/2. pH in 0.01 M CaCl2, 0-23cm
Fertilizer N appliedNot specifiedkgN/haannuallyFertilizer N applied to crops 1969-1986
fertilizer 15N recoverywinter wheatkgN/haannuallyNitrogen (N) fertilizer labelled with the heavy isotope 15N was applied to some of the winter wheat plots in the early 1980s, to determine the recovery of fertilizer N in the crop and soil. See Powlson et al (1992) for the recovery of fertilizer N applied in the autumn; Hart et al (1993) for the fate of the residues; Macdonald et al (1989) for the recovery of unused fertilizer N in the soil. The data was also used to partition losses between denitrification and leaching (Addiscott & Powlson, 1992) and to model the fate of N in crop and soil (Bradbury et al, 1993).
Exchangeable KSoilmg/kgoccasionally1970/71 and 1977/78. 0-23cm.

Design period: Early period (1899—1964)

Description
Started by the Education Committee of East Suffolk County Council, the Rotation II experiment looked at how limited amounts of FYM, sodium nitrate and superphosphate could best be used over a typical four-course rotation of cereals, root crops and legumes.
Design description
Four large blocks each comprising 10 treatment strips. The treatments were applied once every four years. In 1952 two-thirds of the experiment was stopped, although one strip on two blocks we re-incorporated into the experiment later. See Boyd and Trist (1966) for results for this period.
Number of blocks
4
Number of plots
10
Number of replicates
4
Number of harvests per year
1
Crops
CropYears grown
winter wheat
root crops
barley
legumes
Factors
Factor name
Factor levels
farmyard manure exposure
25.1 t/ha of FYM
nitrogen fertilizer exposure
Sodium nitrate
superphosphate exposure

Design period: Middle period (1965—1968)

Description
The FYM and P fertilizers which had been applied to strips 1-7 had resulted in a range of phosphate residues in the soil. Additional FYM and P was applied to some strips to extend the range of P residues prior to testing the value of fresh and residual P on sub-plots within the main treatment strips. Strip 8, which had not received any treatment since 1952 was re-incorporated into the experiment.
Design description
4 large blocks with 8 treatment plots. Barley was grown in 1965, potatoes in 1966 and white turnips and sugar beet in 1967 and barley in 1968.
Number of plots
8
Number of replicates
4
Number of harvests per year
1
Crops
CropYears grown
barley
potatoes
turnips
sugarbeet
Factors
Factor name
Factor levels
farmyard manure exposure
Applied to plots 4 and 5 in 1966 and 1967, a total of 100.4t/ha .
phosphate fertilizer exposure
Applied to plots 5,6 (total of 246.6 kgP/ha) and 7 (total of 493.2kgP/ha) 1965-69

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