Dataset: Rothamsted long-term liming experiment crop yield 1962-1996

Citation:  Margaret Glendining, Jonathan Holland, Steve McGrath, Keith Goulding (2020). Rothamsted long-term liming experiment crop yield 1962-1996 Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research 10.23637/rcs10-rltlyields-01
to RefMan to EndNote


The experiment tests the effects of different amounts of lime (and thus soil pH), P and K on the yields of a sequence of arable crops, on a silty clay loam soil at Rothamsted Experimental Farm, from 1962-1996. Mg, Mn and S were tested on split plots at different times. Target soil pH was 4.5, 5.5, 6.5 and 7.5. The dataset contains plot and sub-plot yields for all plots and years, 1962-1996, details of all treatments applied (lime, P, K, Mg, Mn and S), and agronomic details (crop variety, sowing and harvest date, basal fertilizer).

There was a parallel experiment at Woburn Experimental Farm. This experiment was under grass from 1997-2019 and no treatments were applied. In April 2019 the experiment was revived, and is currently being used to investigate the effect of different lime, P and Zn treatments on macro and micro nutrient uptake of wheat varieties. For more details contact Dr SM Haefele.

This dataset was partially funded by the BBSRC Institute Strategic Programme Soil to Nutrition (BBS/E/C/000I0310).


Period 1 (1962-1980): four lime levels with and without fertilizer P and K. Magnesium was tested on split plots 1974-1978. Period 2 (1981-1996): four lime levels with four P levels. Manganese was te sted on split plots 1987-1990; Sulphur was tested on split plots 1991-1996. 2 replicates.

Technical Information

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  • Sarah Perryman: Data curator
  • Margaret Glendining: Data curator
  • Richard Ostler: Project manager
  • Nathalie Castells: Data manager
  • Steve McGrath: Data collector
  • Keith Goulding: Data collector
  • Jonathan Holland: Researcher

Dataset Access and Conditions

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Rothamsted Research


Creative Commons License This dataset is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (4.0).

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YOU MUST CITE AS: Margaret Glendining, Jonathan Holland, Steve McGrath, Keith Goulding (2020). Dataset: Rothamsted long-term liming experiment crop yield 1962-1996 Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research

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Table Of Contents


Note the included Excel file: 01-RothLTliming-yield.xlsx contains the same data as the CSV files below. The Excel file contains each of the CSV files as an Excel worksheet and is provided for users who prefer Excel over CSV.


File Dataset Name Description
README.html Read me File describing and explaining all details of the dataset (html)
README.txt Read me File describing and explaining all details of the dataset (txt)
crop_data.csv Crop yield data The main data table containing crop yield data for all plots and all treatments, 1962-1996. Includes details of all lime and fertilizer treatments applied, basal fertilizers and agronomic dates. For lime and P treatments we provide the annual and cumulative amounts applied to each plot, as these vary from year to year.
liming_factor_data.csv Liming treatment factor level descriptions Describes the different liming treatment factors, showing the total amounts applied over the experiment. Refer to the crop_data table to see the actual amounts of lime applied to each plot and when applied, as well as the cumulative amounts.
p_factor_data.csv P treatment factor level descriptions Describes the different P treatment factors: Period 1 (1962-1980) when two P rates (0 or P) applied annually; Period 2 (1981-1996) when four P treatments (P0, P1, P2 and P3), applied three or four times only. Refer to the crop_data table for the actual amounts applied to each plot.
k_factor_data.csv K treatment factor level descriptions K treatments applied 1962-1980; this describes the K treatment factors.
mg_factor_data.csv Mg treatment factor level descriptions Mg treatments applied 1974-1978; this describes the Mg treatment factors.
mn_factor_data.csv Mn treatment factor level descriptions Foliar Mn treatments applied 1987-1990; this describes the Mn treatment factors.
s_factor_data.csv S treatment factor level descriptions S treatments applied 1991-1996; this describes the S treatment factors.
crop_types_data.csv Crop types List of crops grown with Latin names and AGROVOC concepts.
notes_data.csv Notes Additional explanatory notes for records in the crop_data table

Information is taken from original raw data sheets and analysis files, held in the archives at Rothamsted Research, and the Annual Rothamsted Yield Books. Verification includes checking of original plot yield data with published mean data from the Rothamsted Yield Books.

  • The dataset Rothamsted long-term liming experiment crop yield 1962-1996 is a published dataset from the e-RA Database. e-RA is part of the Rothamsted Long-Term Experiments - National Bioscience Research Infrastructure (RLTE-NBRI), which also covers maintenance of the Long-Term Experiments, the Rothamsted Sample Archive and Rothamsted's environmental monitoring activities including the weather stations and its role in the UK Environmental Change Network
  • The RLTE-NBRI is funded by UK Research and Innovation - Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UKRI-BBSRC) under award BBS/E/RH/23NB0007 (2023-2028). The RLTE-NBRI is also supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust. e-RA has been part of a National Capability since 2012, previous awards from the BBSRC were Grants BBS/E/C/00005189 (2012-2017) and BBS/E/C/000J0300 (2017-2022)

Additional Funding sources

This project also received funding from the following sources

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For further information and assistance, please contact the e-RA curators, Sarah Perryman and Margaret Glendining using the e-RA email address: