Rothamsted Amounts of Straw

  • Experiment Code: R/CS/326
  • Experiment Site: Rothamsted
  • Objectives: To study the effects of a range of amounts of straw incorporated into the soil on winter wheat.
  • Description: This experiment, along with the Woburn Amounts of Straw experiment provides a comparison of soil organic matter dynamics in contrasting soil types, at Rothamsted (a silty clay loam) and at Woburn (a sandy loam). The experiments have been used to study soil structure and earthworm activity. The findings at Rothamsted can be compared with those from section 0 on Broadbalk where straw is also incorporated. The experiment was discontinued after the 2017 harvest. No yields were recorded in 2016 and 2017.
  • Date Start: 1987
  • Date End: 2017

Key Contacts

  • Margaret Glendining

  • Role: Data Manager
  • ORCID:
  • Organisation: Rothamsted Research
  • Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom


  • The e-RA database, including the published datasets generated from it, is part of the Rothamsted Long-Term Experiments - National Bioscience Research Infrastructure (RLTE-NBRI) , which also includes the Long-Term Experiments, the 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 supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (Grants BBS/E/C/00005189 (2012-2017); BBS/E/C/000J0300 (2017-2022); BBS/E/RH/23NB0007 (2023-2028)).

Experimental Design


  • Wheat straw was incorporated annually at a rate of none, once, twice, and four times the yield of straw the previous year (approximately 0, 5, 10 and 20 t/ha)


  • Period: 1987 - 2017
  • Experiment Design Type: Randomized complete block design
  • Number of Blocks: 4
  • Number of Plots: 16
  • Number of Replicates: 4
  • Number of Harvests per Year: 1


Crop Years Grown


Factors are the interventions or treatments which vary across the experiment.

Crop Residue Management Process

Description: Chopped wheat straw applied annually before sowing.

Application: Whole Plot

Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
Control Exposure 0 t/ha - All crop residues were removed.
Normal 5 t/ha -
2 X Normal 10 t/ha -
4 X Normal 20 t/ha -


Variable Unit Collection
Material Description Crop
Grain Yield Trait t/ha annual SpecifiedCrop wheat
Total Soil Nitrogen % occasionally Soil Total N by LECO
Soil Organic Carbon % occasionally Soil Total C by LECO minus CaCO3

Site: Great Knott III - Rothamsted

  • Experiment Site: Rothamsted
  • Description: Winter wheat was grown for the 3 years prior to the experiment starting
  • Management: Fertiliser, lime and pest control according to standard farm practice.
  • Visit Permitted?: No
  • Visiting Arrangments: The experiment was finished in 2017, so it is no longer possible to visit the site.
  • Elevation: 125 Metres
  • Geolocation:    51.811069, -0.380251


  • Type: Luvisol
    Moderately well-drained flinty silty clay loam of the Batcombe and related series. Aquic Paleudalf in the USDA classification.

Soil Properties

Variable Value Reference Year Is Estimated Is Baseline
Clay content % (Percent) NO NO
Soil pH 7.63 () 2008 NO NO
There are currently no prepared datasets online for this experiment. However, there may still be data available but requiring curation. For more information please contact the e-RA curators.


Creative Commons License These media (images and videos) are available under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (4.0) with attribution to Rothamsted Research.


Key References


  • Fraaije, B. , Atkins, S. , Hanley, S. , Macdonald, A. and Lucas, J.(2020) "The Multi-Fungicide Resistance Status of Aspergillus fumigatus populations in Arable Soils and the Wider European Environment", Frontiers in Microbiology, 11, 599233
    DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.599233


  • Sizmur, T. , Martin, E. , Wagner, K. , Parmentier, E. , Watts, C.W. and Whitmore, A.P.(2019) "Corrigendum to Milled cereal straw accelerates earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) growth more than selected organic amendments [Appl. Soil Ecol. 113 (2017) 116177]", Applied Soil Ecology, 142, 199-200
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2018.10.013


  • Sizmur, T. , Martin, E. , Wagner, K. , Parmentier, E. , Watts, C. and Whitmore, A.P.(2017) "Milled cereal straw accelerates earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) growth more than selected organic amendments", Applied Soil Ecology, 113, 166-177
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2016.12.006


  • Powlson, D.S. , Glendining, M.J. , Coleman, K. and Whitmore, A.P.(2011) "Implications for Soil Properties of Removing Cereal Straw: Results from Long-Term Studies", Agronomy Journal, 103, 279-287
    DOI: 10.2134/agronj2010.0146s


  • Jenkyn, J.F. , Christian, D.G. , Bacon, E.T.G. , Gutteridge, R.J. and Todd, A.D.(2001) "Effects of incorporating different amounts of straw on growth, diseases and yield of consecutive crops of winter wheat grown on contrasting soil types", Journal of Agricultural Science, 136, 1-14
    DOI: 10.1017/s0021859600008558
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: