Dataset: Woburn Continuous Barley Experiment yields 1943-1966

Citation:  Margaret Glendining, June Kimori, Daniel Philcox (2022). Woburn Continuous Barley Experiment yields 1943-1966 Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research 10.23637/wxb6-yield4366-01
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Example yields derived from the data. Fallow (no crop grown) in missing years

Example yields derived from the data. Fallow (no crop grown) in missing years


Annual grain and straw yields for all plots and sub-plots on the Woburn Continuous Barley Experiment, 1943-1966, with details of N fertilizer applied, and other agronomic information, including sowing date, plot size and cultivars. Spring barley was grown every year until 1961 (apart from fallow years), then oats (1962) and spring beans (1964). The whole experiment was fallowed to control weeds (no crop sown) 1947-1949, 1956, 1957, 1963, 1965 and 1966. This experiment is a companion to the Woburn Continuous Wheat experiment.


The Woburn Continuous Barley Experiment started in 1877, with a range of fertilizer and manure treatments applied until 1926. No fertilizer was applied 1927-1940. From 1943-1955 the plots were divided into sets of three, according to their past fertilizer treatments, and three N rates were applied in cyclic order. Plots 2, 5 and 8 were fallowed and not included in the fertilizer N trials, as they were so acidic (due to the fertilizer treatments applied in 1877-1926). No other fertilizer or manure was applied. The plots were divided in half in 1952 and 1953 to compare winter and spring-sown barley, and in 1959-1961 to compare spring barley and wheat. Microplot experiments were made on some plots in 1960-64; this data is not included. Basal fertilizer N was applied to all plots in 1959-1961 (barley and wheat) and in 1962 (oats). Lime was applied in 1955 to all plots to bring soil to about pH 6. Further lime was applied to selected areas in 1956-1959. In autumn 1962 the whole area was limed to bring to about pH 7.

Technical Information

Grain and straw yields at 85% dry matter. Straw yield does not include the stubble or all of the chaff. Fallow (no crop) yields shown as a blank cell. The plots were divided into sets of three according to their fertilizer treatment in 1877-1926 for the N fertilizer treatments, 1943-1955:

  • No P or K Plots 1, 3, 7
  • PK Plots 4, 6, 9
  • FYM Plot 11b (divided into three sections, 1, 2 and 3)
  • Various treatments Plots 10a, 10b and 11a
  • Plots 2, 5 and 8 were not included in this scheme and no yields were taken until 1955. Lime applied to all plots in 1955 to bring all plots to about pH 6.0.

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  • Margaret Glendining: Data curator
  • Richard Ostler: Project leader
  • Nathalie Castells: Data manager
  • Andy Gregory: Project manager
  • Daniel Philcox: Researcher
  • June Kimori: Researcher
  • Simon Willcock: 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, June Kimori, Daniel Philcox (2022). Dataset: Woburn Continuous Barley Experiment yields 1943-1966 Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research

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Individual plot yields were taken from Rothamsted Experimental Station Yield Books, 1943-1966. Agronomic information (sowing dates, cultivar, etc) taken from Annual Reports, Yield Books, plans and descriptions in the Rothamsted Library archives. The frictionless dataset of combined yields and treatment data was compiled by Daniel Philcox and checked by June Kimori and Margaret Glendining, July 2022.

In accordance with the Joint Code of Practice for Research at Rothamsted, data processing in e-RA follow rigorous standard operating procedures to ensure the quality and correctness of data collected in the field through to depositing in the e-RA database. To ensure quality control during data inputting, the data sets were typed on two separate occasions (double data entry). During the second typing (verification) the data values were compared with those typed on the earlier occasion, and any discrepancies were resolved before verification continued. This procedure avoided visual checking of data, which can be very inaccurate.

  • The dataset Woburn Continuous Barley Experiment yields 1943-1966 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)
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