Rothamsted long-term liming experiment
Two long-term liming experiments were started in 1962 at Rothamsted
(Sawyers field) and Woburn (Stackyard) to study the interaction between
soil pH, P and K on arable crop yields. The fields differ in soil type.
Rothamsted is a flinty silty clay loam (Batcombe-Carstens Series) and
Woburn is a sandy loam (Cottenham Series). Different amounts of lime
(including zero) were applied from 1962 onwards to fields that had been
acid for many years before the experiments began (Bolton, 1971). The
original experimental design was four lime treatments with and without
P and K (4 x 2 x 2 factorial with two replicates) within randomised
blocks and with plot sizes of 6 m x 8 m. The experiments were modified
in 1981 with 4 lime treatments and 4 P levels, with magnesium, manganese and then sulphur
treatments applied to sub-plots.
Yields of various arable crops were recorded from 1962-1996 and papers
published (Bolton, 1971, 1977 a,b; McEwen et al, 1990; Holland et al, 2019). Soil samples
have been used for experiments determining the effects of pH on the
bioavailability of heavy metals (Sanders et al, 1986). Lime was applied
in one year (1962) and then in small doses between 1982-1987. The plots
were also used as part of a dataset to produce the Rothamsted Lime
Model (RothLime; Goulding et al, 1989) which was used from 1982 onwards
to apply small amounts of lime to keep the plots at the target pHs
(1:2.5 soil:water) of 4.5, 5.5, 6.5 and 7.5. Since 1997 the Rothamsted
plots have been in grass; the experiment was re-started in 2018.
The Woburn experiment was discontinued in 1997.
See Table S1 (pdf) for details of the type and number of treatments levels applied to whole and sub-plots each year, 1962-1996, for Rothamsted and Woburn.
See data availability (pdf) for details of crop yield and pH
data available, 1962-1996.
See Standardised plans, 1962-1996 (pdf)for standard
plans showing layout and treatment details:
See Lime and fertilizer details, 1962-1996 (pdf)
for details of lime application dates and amounts applied, and details of the type and amount of fertilizer N, P, K and Mg
applied each year, 1962-1996.
Cropping details (type, variety, sowing and harvest date, 1962-1996) are given in the Crop Yields Dataset
Crop Yields dataset.
See site and soil details (pdf)
for details of soil type and properties.
- Clarke, A. (2021) "Why regular liming can raise profits by up to £436/ha/yr", Farmers Weekly
- Glendining, M. J. (2020) "Woburn long-term liming experiment lime and fertilizer treatments 1962-1996", Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research
- Glendining, M. J. (2020) "Rothamsted long-term liming experiment lime and fertilizer treatments 1962-1996", Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research
- Glendining, M. J. (2020) "Rothamsted long-term liming experiment plans 1962-1996", Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research
- Glendining, M. J. (2020) "Woburn long-term liming experiment plans 1962-1996", Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research
- Holland, J. E. and Behrendt, K. (2020) "The economics of liming in arable crop rotations: analysis of the 35-year Rothamsted and Woburn liming experiments", Soil Use and Management, 1-11
- Holland, J. E. , White, P. J. , Glendining, M. J. , Goulding, K. W. T. and McGrath, S. P. (2019) "Yield responses of arable crops to liming - An evaluation of relationships between yields and soil pH from a long-term liming experiment", European Journal of Agronomy, 105, 176-188
- Watts, C. W. , Glendining, M. J. and Castells-Brooke, N. I. D. (2017) "Woburn Experimental Farm Soil and Field Maps", Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research
- Goulding, K. W. T. (2016) "Soil acidification and the importance of liming agricultural soils with particular reference to the United Kingdom", Soil Use and Management, 32, 390-399
- Kemmitt, S. J. , Wright, D. , Goulding, K. W. T. and Jones, D. L. (2006) "pH regulation of carbon and nitrogen dynamics in two agricultural soils", Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 38, 898-911
- Wang, G. M. , Stribley, D. P. , Tinker, P. B. and Walker, C. (1993) "EFFECTS OF PH ON ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZA .1. FIELD OBSERVATIONS ON THE LONG-TERM LIMING EXPERIMENTS AT ROTHAMSTED AND WOBURN", New Phytologist, 124, 465-472
- McEwen, J. , Yeoman, D. P. and McGrath, S. P. (1990) "effects of pH, phosphate and manganese on spring-sown Vicia faba L.", FABIS Newsletter, 18-20
- Goulding, K. W. T. , McGrath, S. P. and Johnston, A. E. (1989) "Predicting the lime requirement of soils under permanent grassland and arable crops", Soil Use & Management, 5, 54-58
- Sanders, J. R. , McGrath, S. P. and Adams, T. M. (1986) "ZINC, COPPER AND NICKEL CONCENTRATIONS IN RYEGRASS GROWN ON SEWAGE SLUDGE-CONTAMINATED SOILS OF DIFFERENT PH", Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 37, 961-968
- Bolton, J. (1977) "Changes in soil pH and exchangeable calcium in 2 liming experiments on contrasting soils over 12 years", Journal of Agricultural Science, 89, 81-86
- Bolton, J. (1977) "Liming effects on response of potatoes and oats to phosphorus, potassium and magnesium fertilizers", Journal of Agricultural Science, 89, 87-93
- Bolton, J. (1976) "Liming and interaction of soil pH with responses to P, K and Mg fertilizers", Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 27, 593-593
- Bolton, J. (1971) "Long-term liming experiments at Rothamsted and Woburn", Rothamsted Experimental Station Report for 1970, Part 2, 98-112
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