Broom's Barn

Broom's Barn Experimental Station is near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, Eastern England. It was built in 1962. Research for most of it's history has focussed on sugar beet, in conjunction with the British Sugar Corporation. Most of the experiments were annual, but there have been a few long-term experiments. However, little data is in an accessible form. There is also an associated meteorological station. It is now one of the two sites of the new long-term rotation experiment, the other being at Rothamsted, Harpenden.



Brooms Barn Research Station is in Suffolk, East Anglia. It complements the experimental arable farms Rothamsted has in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
  • Address: Brooms Barn, Suffolk, IP28 6NP
  • Longitude: 52.26 N
  • Latitude: 0.5671 E
  • Altitude m asl: 70
  • Plans: Brooms Barn Farm

For information about the soil at Brooms Barn Farm, see Draycott et al (1976):

  • Draycott, A. P., Durrant, M. J., Hull, R and Messem, A. B. (1976) "Changes in Brooms's Barn Soils, 1960-75", Rothamsted Experimental Station Report for 1976, 5-28


Broom's Barn was purchased in 1959. The offices and laboratories were purpose built. The official opening by the Rt. Hon. Sir Christopher Soames took place on 27 July 1962. The Station had moved to Suffolk from its temporary accommodation on a disused wartime airfield at Dunholme near Lincoln in order that good facilities could be provided for research into both the control of pests and diseases and the requirement for fertilizers for sugar-beet. For much of the period 1962-2012 it was funded by SBREC (the Sugar Beet Research and Education Committee) and its successor BBRO (the British Beet Research Organisation) with additional funds from MAFF (latterly Defra) and the industry. Subsequently, the sugar-beet research expanded considerably and research on site diversified into other crops, first with a major grant from ICI to study the growth of late-sown winter wheat crops in the early 1980s. The appointment of Bill Clark as Director in 2006 saw further and greater diversification of research with much industry funding. Since 1962, research at Broom's Barn was the spur to many major changes in production practices in the sugar-beet industry. In 2012 science staff left the site. There was a plan to create an Arable Farm Platform but as funding was not available there followed a short period of share farming the land with NIAB from 2014 onwards before Rothamsted took back complete control of the farm in 2017.

Experiments at Broom's Barn Site

Long-term Experiments

Experiment Code Purpose Started
Long Period Cultivation Experiment BB/1 To compare the effects on crop yield and weed infestation of continued ploughing, rotary cultivation, with the Simar implement and stirring the soil with a cultivator. To investigate the value of cyanamide as a weed-killer.
Long-term experiment No. 2, also known as Long-term fertilizers on a rotation BB/2 To test the effects of fertilizer on yields and chemical composition of crops during whole rotations 1965

Key References


  • Last, P.J. , Webb, D.J. , Bugg, R.B. , Bean, K.M.R. , Durrant, M.J. and Jaggard, K.W.(1985) "Long-term effects of fertilizers at Broom's Barn, 1965-82", Rothamsted Experimental Station , , 231-249
    DOI: 10.23637/ERADOC-1-25


  • Draycott, A.P. , Durrant, M.J. , Hull, R. and Webb, D.J.(1978) "Yields of sugar beet and barley in contrasting crop rotations at Broom's Barn, 1971-76", , 5-14
    DOI: 10.23637/ERADOC-1-36538


  • Draycott, A.P. , Durrant, M.J. and Webb, D.J.(1972) "Long-term effects of fertilizers at Broom's Barn, 1965-1970", Rothamsted Experimental Station , , 155-164
    DOI: 10.23637/ERADOC-1-37293
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: