Woburn Intensive Cereals

  • Experiment Code: W/RN/13
  • Experiment Site: Woburn
  • Objectives: To study the effects of intensive cereal cropping on yield, incidence of soil-borne pathogens and organic matter in the soil.
  • Description: These experiments are almost identical to the Broadbalk and Hoosfield Barley experiments at Rothamsted, but at Woburn. They are also known as the Woburn Continuous Wheat and Barley experiments. They started in 1876 on Woburn Stackyard, and where carried out by the Royal Agricultural Society of England but with input from Lawes. They were under continuous wheat and barley, mirroring the Broadbalk and Hoosfield Experiments, until 1926. According to Voelcker (1929), after 1926 it was decided to fallow the plots, which had become infested with weeds.
  • Date Start: 1876
  • Date End: 1990

Key Contacts

  • 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
  • Andy Macdonald

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

Funding

Experimental Design

Description

  • Continuous winter wheat grown, to mirror the Broadbalk wheat experiment at Rothamsted. A range of fertilizer and manure treatments similar to those on Broadbalk, including unmanured, 1876-1926. From 1927-1940 no fertilizer or manure was applied. The experiment was fallowed in 1927, 1928, 1934 and 1935 to control weeds. A new scheme as started in 1943. The experiment finished in 1990.

Design

  • Period: 1876 - 1990
  • Number of Blocks: 22
  • Number of Replicates: 1
  • Number of Harvests per Year: 1

Crops

Crop Years Grown
Winter Wheat

Measurements

Variable Unit Collection
Frequency
Material Description Crop
Yield Components t/ha annually AllCrops Grain and straw yields at field moisture content, approximately 85% dry matter.
Grain Nitrogen Content % annually 1883 onwards
Soil pH occasionally Soil Measured 5 times, in 1876, 1888, 1898, 1927 and 1932. Topsoil (0-23cm). Subsoil (23-46cm) measured in 192.
Total Soil Nitrogen % occasionally Soil Measured 5 times, in 1876, 1888, 1898, 1927 and 1932. Topsoil (0-23cm).
Soil Total Carbon % occasionally Soil Measured 5 times, in 1876, 1888, 1898, 1927 and 1932. Topsoil (0-23cm).
Exchangeable Cations occasionally Soil Measured 3 times, in 1888, 1898 and 1927. Topsoil (0-23cm). Ca, Mg, Na and K.
Crop Variety annually Also sowing and harvest dates

Description

  • Continuous barley grown, to mirror the Hoosfield barley experiment at Rothamsted. A range of fertilizer and manure treatments similar to those on Hoosfield, including unmanured, 1876-1926. From 1927-1940 no fertilizer or manure was applied. The experiment was fallowed in 1927, 1928, 1934 and 1935 to control weeds. A new scheme as started in 1943. The experiment finished in 1990.

Design

  • Period: 1876 - 1926
  • Number of Blocks: 26
  • Number of Replicates: 1
  • Number of Harvests per Year: 1

Crops

Crop Years Grown
Barley

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. barley
Grain Nitrogen Content % annually SpecifiedCrop Since 1883 barley
Soil pH occasionally Soil Measured five times in topsoil, 0-23cm (1876, 1888, 1898, 1927 and 1932) and subsoil (23-46cm) in 1927.
Total Soil Nitrogen % occasionally Soil Measured five times in topsoil, 0-23cm (1876, 1888, 1898, 1927 and 1932)
Soil Total Carbon % occasionally Soil Measured five times in topsoil, 0-23cm (1876, 1888, 1898, 1927 and 1932)
Exchangeable Cations occasionally Soil Exchangeable cations Ca, Mg, Na, and K 1888, 1898 and 1927.
Crop Variety annually SpecifiedCrop Also sowing and harvest dates. barley

Site: Intensive cereals, Woburn Stackyard I - Woburn

  • Experiment Site: Woburn
  • Description: The experiments started in 1876 on Woburn Stackyard, and where carried out by the Royal Agricultural Society of England but with input from John Lawes at Rothamsted. They were under continuous wheat and barley, mirroring the Broadbalk and Hoosfield Experiments, until 1926. According to Voelcker (1929), after 1926 it was decided to fallow the plots, which had become infested with weeds.
  • Visit Permitted?: No
  • Elevation: 89 Metres
  • Geolocation:    52.0003, -0.6149

Soil

  • Type: Eutric Rubic Arenosol
    Sandy loam
There are currently no prepared datasets online for this experiment. However, there may still be data available but requiring curation. For more information please contact the e-RA curators.

Picture Gallery

Key References

2017

  • 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
    DOI: 10.23637/ws-soil-maps-01

2003

  • Blake, L. , Johnston, A. E. , Poulton, P. R. and Goulding, K. W. T. (2003) "Changes in soil phosphorus fractions following positive and negative phosphorus balances for long periods.", Plant & Soil, 254, 245-261
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1025544817872

1980

  • Johnston, A. E. and Whinham, W. N. (1980) "The use of lime on agricultural soils", Proceedings 189, 40pp

1975

  • Mattingly, G. E. G. , Chater, M. and Johnston, A. E. (1975) "Experiments made on Stackyard Field, Woburn, 1876-1974. III. Effects of NPK Fertilisers and Farmyard Manure on Soil Carbon, Nitrogen and Organic Phosphorus", Rothamsted Experimental Station Report for 1974, Part 2
    Get from eRAdoc: ResReport1974p2-63-79
  • Johnston, A. E. and Chater, M. (1975) "Experiments made on Stackyard Field, Woburn, 1876-1974. II. Effects of treatments on soil pH, P and K in the Continuous Wheat and Barley Experiments. ", Rothamsted Experimental Station Report for 1974, Part 2
    Get from eRAdoc: ResReport1974p2-47-62
    DOI: 10.23637/ERADOC-1-33159
  • Johnston, A. E. (1975) "Experiments made on Stackyard Field, Woburn, 1876-1974. I. History of the Field, Details of the Cropping and Manuring and the Yields in the Continuous Wheat and Barley Experiments", Rothamsted Experimental Station, Report for 1974, Part 2
    Get from eRAdoc: ResReport1974p2-31-46

1936

  • Voelcker, J. A. (1936) "Chapter I. Historical", Fifty years of the field experiments at the Woburn Experimental Station. Rothamsted Monographs on Agricultural Science. (E.J. Russell and J.A. Voelcker (eds) - Longmans, Green and Co., London), No. 7, 1-6
  • Voelcker, J. A. (1936) "Chapter IV. The Continuous Growth of Barley on the Same Land", Fifty years of the field experiments at the Woburn Experimental Station. Rothamsted Monographs on Agricultural Science. (E.J. Russell and J.A. Voelcker (eds) - Longmans, Green and Co., London), No. 7, 45-54
  • Voelcker, J. A. (1936) "Chapter III. The Continuous Growth of Wheat on the Same Land", Fifty years of the field experiments at the Woburn Experimental Station. Rothamsted Monographs on Agricultural Science. (E.J Russell and J.A. Voelcker (eds) - Longmans, Green and Co., London), No. 7, 26-44
  • Russell, E. J. and Voelcker, J. A. (1936) "Fifty years of field experiments at the Woburn Experimental Station", Rothamsted Monographs on Agricultural Science-
  • Russell, E. J. (1936) "Chapter XX. The Uncertainty of Green Manures", Fifty years of the field experiments at the Woburn Experimental Station. Rothamsted Monographs on Agricultural Science. (E.J. Russell and J.A. Voelcker (eds) - Longmans, Green and Co., London ), No. 7, 302-305
  • Russell, E. J. (1936) "Chapter XIX. The manurial value of the nitrogen in the feeding stuffs", Fifty years of the field experiments at the Woburn Experimental Station. Rothamsted Monographs on Agricultural Science. (E.J. Russell and J.A. Voelcker (eds) - Longmans, Green and Co., London ), No. 7, 294-301
  • Russell, E. J. (1936) "Chapter XV. Soil deterioration under conditions of continuous cropping. ", Fifty years of the field experiments at the Woburn Experimental Station. Rothamsted Monographs on Agricultural Science. (E.J. Russell and J.A. Voelcker (eds) - Longmans, Green and Co., London ), No. 7, 236-260
  • Russell, E. J. (1936) "Chapter XIV. Effects of artifical manures and farmyard manure", Fifty years of the field experiments at the Woburn Experimental Station. Rothamsted Monographs on Agricultural Science. (E.J. Russell and J.A. Voelcker (eds) - Longmans, Green and Co., London ), No. 7, 213-235
  • Russell, E. J. (1936) "Chapter XVI. The Effect of Season on the Yields of Wheat and Barley", Fifty years of the field experiments at the Woburn Experimental Station. Rothamsted Monographs on Agricultural Science. (E.J and Voelcker Russell, J.A. (eds) - Longmans, Green and Co., London ), No. 7, 261-271

1929

  • Voelcker, J. A. (1929) "Woburn Experimental Farm. Reports for 1926-7 and 1927-8. 1: Continuous growing of wheat and barley (Stackyard field). ", Rothamsted Experimental Station Report for 1927-28
    DOI: 10.23637/ERADOC-1-85

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