Dataset: Exhaustion Land yields (spring barley and winter wheat) and assorted crop & soil phosphate (P) data, 1974-2008


This dataset contains data from the long-term Exhaustion Land experiment at Rothamsted Research, specifically grain and straw yields (spring barley to 1991, thereafter winter wheat), % phosphorous (P) and P uptake (1976-2008), soil Olsen P (plant available P) and Total P (1974-2008) from the long-term Exhaustion Land experiment (established 1856) at Rothamsted Research. The experiment as a whole underwent five different phases of treatment (see below). This data is from that half of the experiment, established in 1986, called the 'P Test' which tested the effects of different levels of plant available P on crop yields and P uptake. It also contains data from the preceding 10/12 years.

Prior to the 'P test', fertilizer N was applied. This had increased yields and allowed the crop to take greater advantage of the P and K residues remaining in the soil from an earlier phase (Phase I) of the experiment. These were initially large but declined as amounts of phosphate in the soil declined. In Phase IV, from 1986, because the P residues had been exhausted it was decided to see how quickly this decline in soil fertility could be reversed - annual cumulative dressings of P as triple phosphate were tested (four different rates on four sub-plots) and spring barley grown - this is known as the 'P test'. Basal N & K were applied so that was not limited. Yield responses to available-P were rapid and showed that above a critical level on this soil, of about 10-12 mg kg P there is no further increase in yield. No P was applied between 1993-1999. Maintenance dressings of P have been applied since 2000 (but not to the P0 sub-plots).


  • Margaret Glendining: Data curator
  • Paul Poulton: Researcher
  • Andrew Macdonald: Researcher

Dataset Access and Conditions

Rights Holder

Rothamsted Research


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

Cite this Dataset

YOU MUST CITE AS: Rothamsted Research (2018). Dataset: Exhaustion Land yields (spring barley and winter wheat) and assorted crop & soil phosphate (P) data, 1974-2008 Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research

Please review our How to Credit Datasets guidance for more information.

Conditions of Use

Rothamsted relies on the integrity of users to ensure that datasets are used appropriately and Rothamsted Research receives suitable acknowledgment as being the originators of these data. Please review the Conditions of Use before downloading.

The data contained in this spreadsheet are derived from data measured at Rothamsted Research, Harpenden. Please contact the e-RA Curators for further details.

  • The dataset Exhaustion Land yields (spring barley and winter wheat) and assorted crop & soil phosphate (P) data, 1974-2008 is a published dataset from the e-RA Database. The e-RA database, including the published datasets generated from it, is part of the National Capabilities, which also includes the Long-Term Experiments, the Sample Archive and the Environmental Change Network.
  • The Rothamsted Long-term Experiments National Capability is supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (Grants BBS/E/C/00005189 (2012-2017) and BBS/E/C/000J0300 (2017-2022).

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