Woburn Continuous Wheat

  • Experiment Code: W/XW/6
  • Experiment Site: Woburn
  • Objectives: To test the effects of fertilisers and manures on the growth of continuous winter wheat
  • Description: This experiment is almost identical to the Broadbalk Wheat experiments at Rothamsted, but at Woburn. It started in autumn 1876, on Woburn Stackyard field. There is a parallel experiment on Continuous Barley which started in 1877, with the same plot numbers. The experiments were carried out by the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) but with input from Lawes.
  • Date Start: 1876
  • Date End: 1966

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 Gregory

  • Role: Experiment Manager
  • ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7123-0784
  • Organisation: Rothamsted Research
  • Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom

Funding

Experimental Design

Description

  • 11 main plots, receiving different fertilizer and manure treatments. Some were split into up to 4 sub-plots with and without lime, as the soil became more acidic.

Design

  • Period: 1876 - 1926
  • Number of Blocks: 11
  • Number of Replicates: 1
  • Number of Sub-plots:
  • Number of Harvests per Year: 1

Crops

Crop Years Grown
Winter Wheat

Factors

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

Liming Exposure

Description: Lime applied as treatments to some sub-plots where soils became acidic

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes

Nitrogen Fertilizer Exposure

Description: Testing different types of N (ammonium sulphate v sodium nitrate) in some plots, and different rates of N in others.

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes

Farmyard Manure Exposure

Description: 3 rates of FYM: 0, 10 and 20 t/ha.

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes

Measurements

Variable Unit Collection
Frequency
Material Description Crop
Grain Yield Trait t/ha annually SpecifiedCrop Grain and straw yields at field moisture content, approximately 85% dry matter. winter wheat
Nitrogen Content kgN/ha annually SpecifiedCrop N content of wheat grain 1883-1926. Not all plots. winter wheat
Total Soil Nitrogen % infrequent Soil Measured in 1876, 1888, 1898, 1916, 1919, 1927, 1932.
Soil pH infrequent Soil Measured in 1876, 1888, 1898, 1916, 1919, 1927, 1932.
Soil Total Carbon % infrequent Measured in 1876, 1888, 1898, 1916, 1919, 1927, 1932.
Exchangeable Calcium infrequently Measured in 1876, 1888, 1898, 1916, 1919,, 1927, 1932.

Description

  • Same design as the Woburn Continuous Barley Experiment. Plots divided into four groups according to previous fertilizer and manure treatment in Period 1. Each group of plots received fertilizer N (39, 78, 118 kgN/ha) over a three year cycle. Plots 1, 3, 7 (previously no P or K); Plots 4, 6, 9 (previously PK); Plot 11b (previously FYM); Plots 10a, 10b, 11a (various treatments).

Design

  • Period: 1927 - 1958
  • Number of Blocks: 10
  • Number of Replicates: 1
  • Number of Sub-plots:
  • Number of Harvests per Year: 1

Crops

Crop Years Grown
Winter Wheat

Factors

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

Nitrogen Fertilizer Exposure

Description: Three rates applied (39, 78, 118 kgN/ha) as nitro chalk, on four groups of three plots. The N rates were rotated.

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes

Measurements

Variable Unit Collection
Frequency
Material Description Crop
Grain Yield Trait t/ha annually SpecifiedCrop Grain and straw yields at 85% dry matter. winter wheat

Description

  • Various comparisons of variety, residual effects of P and K, soil structure, etc.

Design

  • Period: 1959 - 1966
  • Number of Blocks: 11
  • Number of Replicates: 1
  • Number of Sub-plots:
  • Number of Harvests per Year: 1

Crops

Crop Years Grown
Winter Wheat
Spring Oats
Spring Beans

Measurements

Variable Unit Collection
Frequency
Material Description Crop
Grain Yield Trait t/ha annually AllCrops Grain and straw yields at 85% dry matter.

Site: Continuous wheat experiment, Woburn Stackyard - Woburn

  • Experiment Site: Woburn
  • Description: In grass for at least 50 years by the early 1820s, probably ploughed in 1830s. In arable crops in the 1860s. Four-course rotation of roots, barley, hay and wheat. FYM applied to the root crops.
  • Management: Conventional management and tillage for the time.
  • Visit Permitted?: No
  • Elevation: 89 Metres
  • Geolocation:    52.0003, -0.6149

Soil

  • Type: Eutric Rubic Arenosol
    Sandy loam, Stackyard series.

Soil Properties

Variable Value Reference Year Is Estimated Is Baseline
Soil total carbon 1.5% (Percent) 1876 NO YES
Total soil nitrogen 0.156% (Percent) 1876 NO YES
Soil pH 6.1 () 1876 NO YES
Clay content 11.7% (Percent) 1876 NO YES
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.

Images

More about the Woburn Continuous Wheat experiment

Plans and treatments:
Experimental plans, lime and fertilizer treatments details 1876-1926

Key References

2022

  • Glendining, M. J.(2022) "Woburn Continuous Wheat Experiment treatment details and plan, 1876-1926 ", Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK
    DOI: 10.23637/wxw6-treats-01

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

1994

  • Barnett, V.(1994) "Statistics and the long-term experiments: past achievements and future challenges", Long-term experiments in agricultural and ecological sciences, Proceedings of a Conference to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Rothamsted Experimental Station, 14-17 July 1993. Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, 165-183

1976

  • Johnston, A. E. , Mattingly, G. E. G. and Poulton, P. R.(1976) "Effect of phosphate residues on soil phosphorus values and crop yields. I. Experiments on barley, potatoes and sugar beet on sandy loam soils at Woburn England. ", Rothamsted Experimental Station Report for 1975 , Part 2
    Get from eRAdoc: ResReport1975p2-5-35

1975

  • 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
  • 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.(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
  • 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 XVII. The Nitrogen Content of the Grain of Barley and Wheat", 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, 272-286
  • 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
  • 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

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