Hoosfield Barley

  • Experiment Code: R/HB/2
  • Experiment Site: Rothamsted
  • Objectives: To test the effects of different inorganic fertilizers (supplying the elements N, P, K Mg and sodium silicate) and farmyard manure (FYM) on the yield of spring barley (Hordeum vulgare)
  • Description: Started in 1852, spring barley has been grown continuously on the site since then. The experiment offers interesting contrasts to Broadbalk; because it is spring sown it has only been necessary to fallow it four times to control weeds and it tests not only nitrogen, minerals and FYM but also sodium silicate.
  • Date Start: 1852
  • Date End: Ongoing

Key Contacts

  • Andy Macdonald

  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • Organisation: Rothamsted Research
  • Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom
  • Margaret Glendining

  • Role: Data Manager
  • ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6466-4629
  • Organisation: Rothamsted Research
  • Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom
  • Sarah Perryman

  • Role: Data Manager
  • Organisation: Rothamsted Research
  • Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom

Funding

Experimental Design

Description

  • Four combinations of nutrients were tested in a factorial design (strips 1-4): 0 v P v KMgNa v PKMgNa. This series was crossed by four series testing either no N or three forms of N usually applied at 48kgNha-1 (Series O, no N; Series A, ammonium sulphate; Series AA, sodium nitrate; Series C, rape cake, later castor meal). Four additional plots test: unmanured (plot 61); ashes, 1852-1932 (plot 62); residues of FYM applied 1852-1871 (plot 71); FYM since 1852 (plot 72). The sodium nitrate series was divided in 1862 for a test of with and without sodium silicate, to see what effect this had on straw strength, which was used in large quantities in the local hat factories at that time.

Design

  • Period: 1852 - 1967
  • Number of Blocks: 16
  • Number of Replicates: 1
  • Number of Sub-plots:
  • Number of Harvests per Year: 1

Crops

Crop Years Grown
Spring Barley1852 -

Factors

Factors are the interventions or treatments which vary across the experiment.

Nitrogen Fertilizer Exposure

Description: nitrogen fertilizer in various forms applied annually

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
Ammonium Sulphate (series A) 48 kgN/ha 1852 - 1966 annually Spring barley ammonium sulfate Applied in the spring.
Sodium Nitrate (series Aa) Plots 1aa-4aa 48 kgN/ha 1852 - 1966 annually Spring barley sodium sulphate Applied in spring.
Castor Meal (series C) Plots 1c-4c 48 kgN/ha 1852 - 1967 annually Castor bean meal since 1941, rape cake 1852-1940.
No Nitrogen (series O) Plots 1o-4o 1852 - 1967

Phosphate Fertilizer Exposure

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
P 35 kgP/ha 1852 - 1966 annually triple superphosphate applied in the spring

Potassium Fertilizer Exposure (knamg)

Description: inorganic potassium fertilizer applied, along with 11kgMg and 16kgNa fertilizer

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
Knamg 90 kgK/ha 1852 - 1966 annually potassium sulphate Applied in the spring, along with 16kgNa/ha as sodium sulphate and 11kgMg/ha as magnesium sulphate

Farmyard Manure Exposure

Description: Annual applicaton of cattle farmyard manure (FYM)

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
Fym Strip 72 35 t/ha 1852 - 1967 annuallty Applied before ploughing usually in the autumn
Fym-residue Strip 71 35 t/ha 1852 - 1871 annually Applied before ploughing usually in the autumn for 20 years only
None Strip 61 1852 - 1967 No FYM or inorganic fertilizer applied
Ashes Strip 62 1852 - 1932 Ashes were added to inorganic P, KNaMg fertilizers to aid spreading. This is a test of the ashes alone. Not applied 1928, 1929.

Silicon Nutrient Exposure

Description: Series AA 4 large plots divided into 8 sub-plots testing silicate (AA and AAS) from 1862

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
Silicate Aas 450 kg/ha 1862 - 1967 annually Spring barley sodium silicate Silicate test on Series AA only 450 kg/ha calcium silicate and sodium silicate 1862-1867.
No Silicate Aa 0 kg/ha 1862 - 1967 Silicate test on Series AA only

Nil

Description: No P, K, Na or Mg applied since 1852. Strip 1

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes

Measurements

Variable Unit Collection
Frequency
Material Description Crop
Yield Components t/ha annually SpecifiedCrop Grain and straw yields at field moisture content, approximately 85% dry matter. Spring barley
Soil Organic Carbon t/ha occasionally Soil Topsoil (0-23cm) from soil sampled in 1852, 1882, 1913, 1946 and 1965.
Soil Total Nitrogen % occasionally Soil Topsoil (0-23cm) from soil sampled in 1852, 1882, 1913, 1946 and 1965.
Soil Bulk Density g/cm3 occasionally Topsoil (0-23cm) from soil sampled in 1852, 1882, 1913, 1946 and 1965.

Description

  • The 8 large plots of Series AA and C werer each divided into 16 sub-subplots in 1968. A test of rotation or continuous barley was carried out on the sub-plots. Four N rates were tested on the sub-sub plots. The 8 main plots tested 4 combinations of nutrients in a factorial design (strips 1-4): 0 v P v KMgNa v PKMgNa, crossed by 2 series testing two forms of N applied 1852-1967, AA (sodium nitrate) and C (castor bean meal) at 48kgN/ha.

Design

  • Period: 1968 - 1978
  • Number of Blocks: 8
  • Number of Replicates: 1
  • Number of Sub-plots:
  • Number of Harvests per Year: 1

Crops

Crop Years Grown
Spring Barley
Potatoes
Field Beans

Crop Rotations

Rotation Crops
Series C rotation (1968 - 1978) Spring Barley > Field Beans > Potatoes
Series AA rotation (1968 - 1978) Spring Barley > Field Beans > Potatoes

Factors

Factors are the interventions or treatments which vary across the experiment.

Nitrogen Fertilizer Exposure

Description: Inorganic nitrogen fertilizer in various amounts applied annually to split plots on the rotation plots.

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
N0 0 1968 - 1978 Nil treatment
N1 48 kgN/ha 1968 - 1978 annually ammonium nitrate Applied in the spring
N2 96 kgN/ha 1968 - 1978 annually ammonium nitrate Applied in the spring
N3 144 kgN/ha 1968 - 1978 ammonium nitrate Applied in the spring

Phosphate Fertilizer Exposure

Description: phosphate fertilizer applied annually

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
P 34 kgP/ha 1968 - 1978 triple superphosphate Applied before ploughing usually in the autumn

Potassium Fertilizer Exposure (knamg)

Description: inorganic potassium fertilizer applied annually, along with 11kgMg and 16kgNa fertilizer

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
Knamg 90 kgK/ha 1968 - 1978 annually potassium sulphate Applied before ploughing, usually in the autumn, with 11kgMg and 16kgNa fertilizer

Measurements

Variable Unit Collection
Frequency
Material Description Crop
Yield Components t/ha annually AllCrops grain and straw yields at 85% dry matter
Crop Nutrient Data % annually SpecifiedCrop Grain and straw %N, P, K, Ca, Mg and Na since 1970. spring barley
Thousand Grain Weight g annually selected plots only from 1974 onwards
Soil Organic Carbon % Soil 1975 selected plots
Soil Total Nitrogen % Soil 1975 selected plots
Soil Bulk Density g/cm3 Soil 1975 selected plots

Description

  • Continuation of main layout of middle period, continuous spring barley only. 16 Main Plots testing various combinations of P, KNaMg, and FYM, on three earlier N treatments; Series O (no fertilizer N); Series A (48 kgN as ammonium sulphate) and Series C (48kg N as castor bean meal) 1852-1967 (see Early period 1).

Design

  • Period: 1968 - 1978
  • Number of Blocks: 16
  • Number of Replicates: 1
  • Number of Sub-plots:
  • Number of Harvests per Year: 1

Crops

Crop Years Grown
Spring Barley

Factors

Factors are the interventions or treatments which vary across the experiment.

Nitrogen Fertilizer Exposure

Description: Inorganic nitrogen fertilizer in various amounts applied annually to split plots

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
N0 0 - SInce 1981 the N rates rotate annually, N3>N2>N1>N0
N1 48 kgN/ha 1968 - annually spring barley calcium ammonium nitrate Applied in spring. SInce 1981 the N rates rotate annually, N3>N2>N1>N0
N2 96 kgN/ha 1968 - annually spring barley calcium ammonium nitrate Applied in spring. SInce 1981 the N rates rotate annually, N3>N2>N1>N0
N3 144 kgN/ha 1968 - spring barley calcium ammonium nitrate Applied in spring. SInce 1981 the N rates rotate annually, N3>N2>N1>N0

Phosphate Fertilizer Exposure

Description: inorganic phosphorus fertilizer applied annually since 1852

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
P 35 kgP/ha 1852 - 2002 annually spring barley triple superphosphate Applied in autumn before ploughing.

Potassium Fertilizer Exposure

Description: Inorganic potassium fertilizer applied annually since 1852, with inorganic Mg.

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
Kmg 90 kgK/ha 1852 - annually spring barley potassium sulphate Applied before ploughing in autumn. Applied annually since 1852 with 35kgMg as Kieserite every three years. 16kgNa/ha applied annually as sodium sulphate until 1978.

Farmyard Manure Exposure

Description: farmyard manure in various amounts and periods of application

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
Fym Strip 72 35 t/ha 1852 - annually Applied before ploughing in autumn. Continuation of FYM treatment from early and middle period.
Fym-residue Strip 71 35 t/ha 1852 - 1871 annually Continuation of FYM-residue treatment from early and middle period.
None Strip 61 - No FYM applied. Continuation of Early and Middle Period treatment.
Ash Strip 62 1852 - 1932 Continuation of treatment from Early and Middle period.

Silicon Nutrient Exposure

Description: Inorganic silicate fertilizer in various amounts and periods of previous application

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
Si, Series Aa 450 kg/ha 1980 - sodium silicate Applied before ploughing in the autumn.
(si), Series Aa 450 kg/ha 1862 - 1979 sodium silicate Applied before ploughing in autumn

Measurements

Variable Unit Collection
Frequency
Material Description Crop
Yield Components t/ha annually SpecifiedCrop Grain and straw yields at 85% dry matter. spring barley
Crop Nutrient Content % annually SpecifiedCrop Grain and straw %N, P, K, Ca, Mg and Na since 1979, %S since 1996, from main plots only. spring barley
Thousand Grain Weight g annually SpecifiedCrop selected plots only from 1974 onwards spring barley
Soil Organic Carbon % infrequently Soil 1982, 1998, 2000 on selected plots only. 0-23cm. Some subsoil data also available in 2000.
Total Soil Nitrogen % infreqently Soil 1982, 1998, 2000 on selected plots only. 0-23cm. Some subsoil data also available in 2000.
Plant Available Phosphorous mg/kg infreqently Soil 1982, 1998, 2000 on selected plots only. 0-23cm. Some subsoil data also available in 2000.
Soil pH infreqently Soil 1982, 1998, 2008 on selected plots only. 0-23cm. Some subsoil data in 1998.
Exchangeable Cations infreqently Soil Exchangeable Ca, Mg, K, and Na, 1982 and 2000, selected plots. 0-23cm soil layer.

Description

  • Continuation of main layout of middle period, continuous spring barley only. Series AA was modified in 1980 to test: 0 v silicate 1862-1979 v silicate since 1980 v silicate since 1862. Two new plots testing P2KMg (plot 63) and FYM (plot 73) were introduced in 2001 and Strip 5 tested various other combinations of N, P, K and Mg.

Design

  • Period: 1979 - 2000

Design

  • Period: 1979 - 2000

Design

  • Period: 2001 - Now

Design

  • Period: 2001 - Now

Design

  • Period: 2001 - Now

Site: Hoosfield - Rothamsted

  • Experiment Site: Rothamsted
  • Description: The Hoosfield Spring Barley experiment was started in 1852 on a 1.7 hectare (4.25 acre) site, to test the effects of organic manure and inorganic fertilizer on the growth of spring barley. The site has probably been occupied since Roman times, and the Rothamsted map of 1623 shows the site under arable cultivation. Before the experiment started the following arable crops were grown: turnips (with FYM and superphosphate) 1847, barley 1848, clover 1849, wheat 1850, barley (with ammonium salts) 1851.
  • Management: The site is managed using conventional tillage and pesticide applications are applied as necessary. The plough layer (0-23 m) is limed when necessary to maintain a minimum soil pH of 7.0 – 7.5. There is no irrigation.
  • Visit Permitted?: Yes
  • Visiting Arrangments: Contact Andy Macdonald
  • Elevation: 130 Metres
  • Geolocation:    51.81206, -0.37608

Soil

  • Type: Luvisol
    Flinty silty clay loam topsoil over clay-with–flints (Avery and Catt, 1995). The soils contain a large number of flints and are slightly calcareous. Below about 2m depth the soil becomes chalk. The experiment is under-drained and the site is free draining.

Soil Properties

Variable Value Reference Year Is Estimated Is Baseline
Clay content 20% (Percent) NO NO
Silt content 52% (Percent) NO NO
Sand content 28% (Percent) NO NO

Datasets available

Hoosfield mean long-term spring barley yields 1852-2015
Crop yield data This dataset shows the mean long-term spring barley yields from selected treatments on the Hoosfield experiment. Spring barley has been grown continuously since 1852. The changes in yield reflect the improved varieties, cultivations and control of weeds and diseases that have been introduced, especially since the late 1960s.
HBYields
Hoosfield soil organic carbon content
Soil data This dataset shows changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) content (tha-1) in the topsoil (0-23cm) of selected treatments of the Hoosfield experiment, where spring barley has been grown each year since 1852.
HBSOC1852
Additional data is available through e-RAdata. Please register for access.

More about Hoosfield

Plans and treatments:
Plans, fertilizer treatments and cropping details for the Hoosfield spring barley experiment
Crop nutrients:
information about crop macro nutrient content (% N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na and S)
Soil chemical and physical properties:
information about soil properties, and details of which soil chemical properties have been measured.

Key References

2015

  • Rothamsted_Research (2015) "Hoosfield spring barley experiment plans and fertilizer treatments 1968-2000", Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2JQ, UK
    DOI: 10.23637/rhb2-plans1968-2000-01

2012

  • Rothamsted_Research (2012) "Hoosfield spring barley experiment plan and fertilizer treatments 1852-1967", Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2JQ, UK
    DOI: 10.23637/rhb2-plan1852-1967-01

2009

  • Rothamsted_Research (2009) "Hoosfield spring barley experiment plan and fertilizer treatments 2001 onwards", Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2JQ, UK
    DOI: 10.23637/rhb2-plan2001-01
  • Johnston, A. E. , Poulton, P. R. and Coleman, K. (2009) "Soil organic matter: its importance in sustainable agriculture and carbon dioxide fluxes", Advances in Agronomy, 101, 1-57
    DOI: 10.1016/s0065-2113(08)00801-8

2001

  • Glendining, M. J. , Poulton, P. R. , Powlson, D. S. , Macdonald, A. J. and Jenkinson, D. S. (2001) "Availability of the residual nitrogen from a single application of N-15-labelled fertilizer to subsequent crops in a long-term continuous barley experiment", Plant and Soil, 233, 231-239
    DOI: 10.1023/a:1010508914895

1997

  • Glendining, M. J. , Poulton, P. R. , Powlson, D. S. and Jenkinson, D. S. (1997) "Fate of N-15-labelled fertilizer applied to spring barley grown on soils of contrasting nutrient status", Plant and Soil, 195, 83-98
    DOI: 10.1023/a:1004295531657

1996

  • Poulton, P. R. (1996) "Hoosfield Continuous Barley. ", Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems, Report No. 7, GCTE Task 3.3.1, Soil Organic Matter Network (SOMNET): 1996 Model and Experimental Metadata (Smith P. , Smith J.U. and Powlson D.S. (eds) - GCTE Focus 3 Office, Wallingford, UK), 86-88

1977

  • Jenkinson, D. S. and Johnston, A. E. (1977) "Soil organic matter in the Hoosfield continuous barley experiment", Rothamsted Experimental Station Report for 1976, Part 2
    Get from eRAdoc: ResReport1976p2-89-103

1967

For further information and assistance, please contact the e-RA curators, Sarah Perryman and Margaret Glendining using the e-RA email address: era@rothamsted.ac.uk