Woburn long-term liming experiment

Local identifier
W/CS/10
Years operational
1962—1996
Objective
To study the effects of different amounts of lime (and thus soil pH), P and K on the yields of a sequence of arable crops. Mg, Mn and S treatments were also applied.
Description
Yields of various crops were recorded from 1962-1996 and papers published (Bolton, 1971, 1977 a,b; McEwen et al, 1990; Holland et al, 2019). The experiment is now discontinued.
Data Access Statement
Available to any researcher on request
Data Access Notes
Contact the e-RA curators: era@rothamsted.ac.uk
Data license
CC BY
Data URL
http://www.era.rothamsted.ac.uk/Other#SEC18
Data policy
Yes (not online)
Organization
Rothamsted Research
research organisation
People
Dr Margaret Glendining
data manager
Rothamsted Research
Computational and Analytical Sciences
Dr Sarah Perryman
data manager
Rothamsted Research
Computational and Analytical Sciences
Dr Andy Macdonald
principal investigator
Rothamsted Research
Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Site: Stackyard Field Section 3

Type
research station field
Local code
W/CS/10
Location
Woburn
Bedfordshire
United Kingdom
Geographic location
52.0003, -0.6149
© OpenStreetMap contributors
Elevation
89 Metres
Visits permitted?
No
History
The site is an old arable site, which had not grown beans for many years. The soil was acidic and deficient in P and K. The intial pH ranged between 5.6 and 6.3. The experiment was started in 1962 and cropped until 1996. In 1997 the experiment was discontinued.
Management
From 1962-1996 the site was managed according to conventional practices. In most years N fertilizer was applied to crops at a rate appropriate for the crop and site, and a range of conventional pesticides were used to control weeds, pests and diseases.
Soil type
arenosol
Soil description
Sandy loam, Cottenham series. Brown sand on Lower Greensand Brown sands (Soil Survey England & Wales) Udipsamments; Udalfs or Udults (Arenic) (US Soil Taxonomy) Cambic and Luvic Arenosols (FAO)
Soil properties
VariableDepthValue (range)UnitsRef yearEstimated?Baseline?
coarse sand content (2-0.2mm)0 – 23 Centimetres50 Percent1974
fine sand content (0.2-0.02mm)0 – 23 Centimetres27 Percent1974
silt content (0.02-0.002mm)0 – 23 Centimetres7 Percent
clay content0 – 23 Centimetres11 Percent1974
soil total carbon0 – 23 Centimetres0.82 Percent
total soil nitrogen0 – 23 Centimetres0.08 Percent1974
soil weight0 – 23 Centimetres3400 tonnes per hectare1934
soil pH0 – 23 Centimetres6 pH1962
Climatic type
temperate oceanic climate
Climate properties
VariableTime periodValue (range)Units
annual total precipitation 1981 – 2010 652 (460.5 – 870.4) mm
mean annual temperature 1981 – 2010 9.9 (8.7 – 10.9) degree Celsius

Design period: Period 1 (1962—1980)

Design Type
Randomized block design
Description
Four lime treatments with and without P and K. Magnesium was tested on split plots 1974-1978.
Design description
Four lime treatments with and without P and K (4 x 2 x 2 factorial with two replicates, 32 plots) within randomised blocks and with plot sizes of 6 m x 18 m. The experiment was fallow in 1969, 1979 and 1980. In 1962 columns of 4 plots were split for uninoculated v inoculated seed. In 1964 plots receiving both P and K were subdivided for a comparison of method of application, broadcast versus drilled. In 1974-1978 a comparison of with and without Magnesium was applied to the 64 sub-plots.
Number of plots
32
Number of subplots
64
Number of replicates
2
Number of harvests per year
1
Crops
CropYears grown
spring beans
spring barley
potatoes
spring oats
spring oilseed rape
fallow
Factors
Factor name
Factor levels
liming exposure
four rates of lime: control, low, medium and high. Applied in 1962/63 and again in 1978. Amounts given are the total amounts applied, see comments for splits.
control exposure  (0 t/ha)
1962—1980
lime low  (6 t/ha)
1962—1980
Application frequency: twice
Chemical form: ground chalk
5 t/ha in 1962, 1 t/ha in 1978
lime medium  (14 t/ha)
1962—1980
Application frequency: twice
Chemical form: ground chalk
12 t/ha in 1962, 2 t/ha in 1978
lime high  (23 t/ha)
1962—1980
Application frequency: twice
Chemical form: ground chalk
19 t/ha in 1962, 4 t/ha in 1978
Phosphorus (P) fertilizer exposure
Two P fertilizer treatments, nil and P.
control exposure  (0 kgP/ha)
1962—1980
Applied to crop: All crops
superphosphate P  (27.5 kgP/ha)
1962—1978
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: triple superphosphate
55 kgP/ha applied to potatoes and 0 applied in fallow years 1969, 1979, 1980
Potassium (K) fertilizer exposure
Two treatments, nil and K
control exposure  (0 kgK/ha)
1962—1980
potassium K  (104 kgK/ha)
1962—1978
Applied to crop: All crops
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: muriate of potash
In 1968 and 1974, 156 kgK applied to potatoes. Not applied to fallow years, 1969, 1979, 1980.
magnesium nutrient exposure
Two magnesium treatments applied to sub-plots 1974-1978, nil and Mg
control exposure  (0 kgMg/ha)
1974—1978
magnesium  (112 kgMg/ha)
1974—1978
Application frequency: Annually in spring
Chemical form: magnesium sulphate
Not applied in 1975. Applied as Epsom salts 1974-1977 and as Kieserite in 1978.
Rhizobium leguminosarum exposure
Spring beans seed inoculated with Rhizobium
control exposure  (0 )
1962—1962
Applied to crop: spring beans
Inoculated
1962—1962
Applied to crop: spring beans
Measurements
VariableMaterialUnitsFrequencyScaleComment
yield componentsAll cropst/haannuallyCrop grain yields at 85% dry matter for cereals, 90% dry matter for oilseeds and fresh weight for potatoes. No straw data.
soil pHSoilevery few yearspH in water 1:2.5 soil: water suspension from topsoil (0-23cm). Sampled in autumn/winter after harvest and before sowing the next crop.
plant available phosphorousSoilppmevery few yearsOlsen P (plant-available P) in soil, ppm in soil.

Design period: Period 2 (1981—1995)

Design Type
Randomized block design
Description
Since 1981 the effects of four rates of P and four rates of lime, with effects of K residues. Manganese was tested on spit plots, 1987-1990; sulphur was tested on spilt plots, 1991-1996.
Design description
The experiment was modified in 1981. The 4 lime treatments continued, the PK treatments were replaced with 4 P levels with two replicates (4 x 4 x 2). The main plots were split into sub-plots 1987-1990 to test foliar Manganese, and in 1991-1996 to test Sulphur.
Number of plots
32
Number of subplots
62
Number of replicates
2
Number of harvests per year
1
Crops
CropYears grown
Spring oats
potatoes
spring barley
winter triticale
spring lupins
linseed
spring beans
winter oilseed rape
winter lupins
winter wheat
fallow
Factors
Factor name
Factor levels
phosphate fertilizer exposure
control exposure  (0 kgP/ha)
1981—1996
P0
P1  (?? kgP/ha)
1981—1996
Superphosphate at 25, 25 & 50 kgP/ha applied in 1981, 1982 & 1983 and 25 kgP/ha applied 1988
P2  (?? kgP/ha)
1981—1996
Chemical form: triple superphosphate
Superphosphate at 25, 0 & 50 kgP/ha applied in 1981, 1982 & 1983 and 25 kgP/ha applied 1988
P3  (?? kgP/ha)
1981—1996
Chemical form: triple superphosphate
Superphosphate at 75, 25 & 100 kgP/ha applied in 1981, 1982 & 1983 and 75 kg/ha applied 1988
liming exposure
Continuation of 4 treatments in Period 1 Further applications made after period 1. Applied in 1981, 1982 and 1986. Amounts given are the total amounts applied, see comments for splits.
control exposure  (0 t/ha)
1981—1996
Lime low  (3 t/ha)
1981—1996
Application frequency: 3 times
Chemical form: ground chalk
Total application over the whole experiment = 9 t/ha. Total amount applied to plots previously receiving 6 t/ha chalk between 1962 and 1978. Chalk was applied at 2, 0 and 1 t/ha in 1981, 1982 and 1986 respectively.
Lime medium  (11.5 t/ha)
1981—1996
Application frequency: 3 times
Chemical form: ground chalk
Total application over the whole experiment = 24.5 t/ha. Total amount applied to plots previously receiving 14 t/ha chalk between 1962 and 1978. Chalk was applied at 5, 5 and 1.5 t/ha in 1981, 1982 and 1986 respectively.
lime high  (22.5 t/ha)
1981—1996
Application frequency: 3 times
Chemical form: ground chalk
Total application over the whole experiment = 52.5 t/ha. Total amount applied to plots previously receiving 23 t/ha chalk between 1962 and 1978. Chalk was applied at 10, 10 and 2.5 t/ha in 1981, 1982 and 1986 respectively.
manganese nutrient exposure
Manganese fertilizer applied to split plots 1987-1990 only
control exposure  (0 kg/ha)
1987—1990
Manganese applied to split plots
manganese  (0.3 kg/ha)
1987—1990
Application frequency: annually
Application method: manganese sprays
Applied twice a year as foliar spray
Sulphur fertilizer exposure
Sulphur applied to split plots
control exposure  (0 kg/ha)
1991—1996
sulphur  (30 kg/ha)
1991—1996
Applied to crop: All crops
Application frequency: annually
Chemical form: calcium sulfate
Measurements
VariableMaterialUnitsFrequencyScaleComment
yield componentsAll cropst/haannuallyCrop grain yields at 85% dry matter for cereals, 90% dry matter for oilseeds and fresh weight for potatoes. No straw data.
soil pHSoilevery few yearspH in water 1:2.5 soil: water suspension from topsoil (0-23cm). Sampled in autumn/winter after harvest and before sowing the next crop.
plant available phosphorousSoilppmevery few yearsOlsen P (plant-available P) in soil, ppm in soil.

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