Saxmundham Rotation I

  • Experiment Code: S/RN/1
  • Experiment Site: Saxmundham
  • Objectives: To test N, P, K and manure treatments on crop rotations on a heavy sandy clay loam site. More recently to look at crop responses to P and K, and their interactions with N on high-yielding wheat cultivars.
  • Description: Two rotation experiments were started at Saxmundham in 1899 by East Suffolk County Council. The experiments consisted of four blocks so that a fully phased typical Norfolk 4-course rotation could be grown. The Rotation I experiment had a factorial test of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium plus bone meal and farmyard manure. Rothamsted assumed control of the experiments in 1965 and reviewed and modified the experiments. Rothamsted relinquished the site in 2010.
  • Date Start: 1899
  • Date End: 2010

Key Contacts

  • Sarah Perryman

  • Role: Data Managers
  • Organisation: Rothamsted Research
  • Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom
  • Andrew Gregory

  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • ORCID:
  • Organisation: Rothamsted Research
  • Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom
  • Margaret Glendining

  • Role: Data Manager
  • ORCID: 0000-0002-6466-4629
  • Organisation: Rothamsted Research
  • Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom


Experimental Design


  • Four blocks of ten plots each, with a four-course rotation, with different crops grown in each block each year. Originally the crops of a typical Norfolk four-course rotation (roots, spring barley, legume and winter wheat. Different fertilizer and manure treatments in the 10 plots.


  • Period: 1899 - 1965
  • Number of Blocks: 4
  • Number of Blocks: 40
  • Number of Replicates: 4


Crop Years Grown
Root Vegetables
Feed Legumes

Crop Rotations

Rotation Crops
Norfolk Rotation (1899 - 1962) Wheat > Root Vegetables > Barley > Feed Legumes


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

Fertilizer Exposure

Application: Whole Plot

Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
Farmyard Manure 15 t/ha -
Bone Meal 0.5 t/ha -
Nitrogen 100 kgN/ha - sodium nitrate
Phosphorous 40 kgP/ha -
Potassium 63 kgK/ha - potassium chloride

Factor Combinations

Factor Combinations are the combination of factors applied to different plots on the experiment.

Factor Combination Time Coverage Notes
D -
BM -
N -
P -
K -
O - No fertilizer
PK -
NK -
NP -


  • The four-course rotation of wheat, sugar beet, barley and beans was continued until the 1969 harvest. In 1970 the northern half of each plot was sown to lucerne and the southern to a grass ley mixture.


  • Period: 1966 - 2010
  • Number of Blocks: 10
  • Number of Replicates: 4
  • Number of Harvests per Year: 1


Crop Years Grown
Winter Wheat
Faba Beans
Sugar Beet
Grass Leys

Site: Harwood's Piece - Saxmundham

  • Experiment Site: Saxmundham
  • Management: The site is no longer managed by Rothamsted Research.
  • Visit Permitted?: No
  • Visiting Arrangments: None
  • Elevation: 36 Metres
  • Geolocation:    52.220964, 1.466048


  • Type: Eutric Gleysol
    Sandy clay loam developed over drift over Chalky Boulder Clay, Beccles Series.
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.


Key References


  • Johnston, A. E. and Poulton, P. R.(2019) "Phosphorus in Agriculture: A Review of Results from 175 Years of Research at Rothamsted, UK", Journal of Environmental Quality, 48, 1133-1144
    DOI: 10.2134/jeq2019.02.0078
  • Poulton, P. R. and Glendining, M. J.(2019) "Saxmundham Rotation II experimental details, 1969-1986", Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research
    DOI: 10.23637/srn2-details1969-01


  • Johnston, A. E. , Poulton, P. R. , White, R. P. and Macdonald, A. J.(2016) "Determining the longer term decline in plant-available soil phosphorus from short-term measured values", Soil Use and Management, 32, 151-161
    DOI: 10.1111/sum.12253



  • Johnston, A. E. , Poulton, P. R. and White, R. P.(2013) "Plant-available soil phosphorus. Part II: the response of arable crops to Olsen P on a sandy clay loam and a silty clay loam", Soil Use and Management, 29, 12-21
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-2743.2012.00449.x


  • Goulding, K. W. T. , Poulton, P. R. , Thomas, V. H. and Williams, R. J. B.(1986) "Atmospheric deposition at Rothamsted experimental station, Saxmundham experimental station and Woburn experimental station, England, 1969-1984", Water Air and Soil Pollution, 29, 27-49
    DOI: 10.1007/bf00149327
  • Johnston, A. E. , Lane, P. W. , Mattingly, G. E. G. , Poulton, P. R. and Hewitt, M. V.(1986) "Effects of soil and fertilizer P on yields of potatoes, sugar beet, barley and winter wheat on a sandy clay loam soil at Saxmundham, Suffolk", Journal of Agricultural Science, 106, 155-167
    DOI: 10.1017/S0021859600061864


  • Goulding, K. W. T. and Talibudeen, O.(1984) "Thermodynamics of K-Ca exchange in soils. I. Effects of potassium and organic matter residues in soils from the Broadbalk and Saxmundham Rotation I Experiments.", Journal of Soil Science, 35, 397-408
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2389.1984.tb00296.x


  • Goulding, K. W. T. and Talibudeen, O.(1979) "Potassium reserves in a sandy clay soil from the Saxmundham Experiment: Kinetics and equilibrium thermodynamics", Journal of Soil Science, 30, 291-302
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2389.1979.tb00986.x


  • Trist, P. J. O. and Boyd, D. A.(1966) "The Saxmundham rotation experiments. Rotation, I.", Journal of Agricultural Science, 66, 327-336
    DOI: 10.1017/S0021859600063620
  • Boyd, D. A. and Trist, P. J. O.(1966) "The Saxmundham rotation experiments: Rotation II, 1899-1952", Journal of Agricultural Science, 66, 337-339
    DOI: 10.1017/S0021859600063632


  • Oldershaw, A. W.(1941) "Experiments on arable crops at Saxmundham", Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society, 102, 136-155

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