Saxmundham Experimental Station is in East Suffolk, five miles (8 km) from the sea and 110 miles (177 km) East of Rothamsted. The soil is a heavy sandy clay loam which can be difficult to cultivate, providing a contrast with the soils at Rothamsted and Woburn. Two long-term experiments were started in 1899 by East Suffolk County Council. Each consisted of four blocks so that a typical Norfolk four-course rotation could be grown, with each crop present each year. Rothamsted assumed responsibility for the site in 1965 and the experiments were reviewed and modified. Rothamsted relinquished the site in 2010.
Average annual temperature and rainfall (1966-1985) are 9.5°C and 618mm respectively. See Saxmundham monthly meteorological summaries, 1966-85 for more details ADD LINK
See Goulding et al (1986) for details of atmospheric deposition at Saxmundham, 1969-1984.
For more details of the Beccles and other soil series, see Cranfield University 2018 Soils Guide.
The soil is typical of large areas of Eastern England. The field is drained (Williams, 1971) but the soil can be difficult to manage when weather conditions are unfavourable (Cooke & Williams, 1972).
In 1899 two long-term experiments, Rotation I and Rotation II, were started at Saxmundham by the Education Committee of the East Suffolk County Council. Each consisted of four blocks so that a typical Norfolk four-course rotation could be grown, with each crop present each year. NAAS (now ADAS) managed the site from 1947 until 1963, and when ARC (later AFRC, now BBSRC) acquired the lease in 1964, Rothamsted assumed responsibility for managing the experimental programme, and the experiments were reviewed and modified. The reasons why the experiments were established, and early results are given by Oldershaw (1941).
|Saxmundham Rotation 1||S/RN/1||Since 1965, to observe crop responses to P and K and their interactions with N, particularly with high rates of N applied to high yielding wheat cultivars for bread-making quality. From 1899-1964 to test combinations of N, P, K and organic manures on a typical four-course arable rotation.||1899 - 2010|
|Saxmundham Rotation 2||S/RN/2||Since 1965, to look at the response of various crops to fresh and residual soil P, and the decline in plant-available P when P fertilizer was no longer applied. From 1899 to 1964 to look at how limited amounts of FYM, sodium nitrate and superphosphate could best be used over a typical four-course arable rotation.||1899 - 2010|
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