Dataset: Woburn Continuous Barley Experiment yields 1877-1926

Citation:  Margaret Glendining (2022). Woburn Continuous Barley Experiment yields 1877-1926 Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research 10.23637/wxb6-yield7726-01
to RefMan to EndNote

Example yields derived from the data. Lime applications indicated by the arrows

Example yields derived from the data. Lime applications indicated by the arrows


This dataset contains the annual grain and straw yields of the Woburn Continuous Barley experiment, 1877-1926. Also grain %N for most plots and years. Details of the fertilizer, manure and lime treatments are also included. There was a parallel experiment at Woburn testing the same treatments on the yield of continuous winter wheat. This experiment also mirrored the continuous spring barley experiment on the silty clay loam soil at Hoosfield, Rothamsted, started in 1852. The soil at Woburn contained little free calcium carbonate, and soil pH was 6.1 in 1876. Consequently, where ammonium sulphate was applied (plots 2, 5 and 8) the soil soon became acidic and yields declined markedly within 20 years. These were the first experiments in the UK where lime was applied to try to correct soil acidity.


This experiment tested different fertilizer, manure and lime treatments on the yield of continuous spring barley grown on a sandy loam soil at Woburn. Originally 11 plots (1-11), some were divided into sub-plots (a and b) from 1882, and into sub sub-plots (i and ii) from 1905, to test different treatments, mainly with and without lime. To allow comparison of the different treatments, yields are shown for all 50 years for each sub-plot.

Technical Information

Grain and straw yields at field moisture content, approximately 85%, though this was not recorded. Grain % N content measured in grain dried at 100 degrees C, assumed to be 100% dry matter. Grain %N not recorded for all plots. Harvest dates not recorded.

Related Documents

Related Datasets


  • Sarah Perryman: Data curator
  • Margaret Glendining: Data curator
  • Richard Ostler: Project leader
  • Nathalie Castells: Data manager
  • Andy Gregory: Project manager
  • Daniel Philcox: Researcher
  • June Kimori: 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: Margaret Glendining (2022). Dataset: Woburn Continuous Barley Experiment yields 1877-1926 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.

Individual plot yields are taken from Russell and Voelcker (1936) appendix tables. The treatment details were taken from Glendining 2022. This frictionless dataset of combined yield and treatment data was compiled by M Glendining and checked by S Perryman, May 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 also set out how to handle situations where the written records were illegible or ambiguous. This procedure avoided visual checking of data, which can be very inaccurate.

Yield data taken from Russell E. J. and Voelcker J.A. (1936) Fifty years of field experiments at the Woburn Experimental Station. Rothamsted Monographs on Agricultural Science, Longmans, Green and Co., London. Appendix tables.

  • The dataset Woburn Continuous Barley Experiment yields 1877-1926 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)
We only use analytics cookies on this site. Please refer to our Privacy and cookies policy

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