Studies in crop variation VII. The influence of rainfall on the yield of barley at Rothamsted

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Wishart, J. and Mackenzie, W. A. 1930. Studies in crop variation VII. The influence of rainfall on the yield of barley at Rothamsted. The Journal of Agricultural Science. 20 (3), pp. 417-439.

AuthorsWishart, J. and Mackenzie, W. A.

The conclusions of an earlier study of the yield of dressed grain from Hoos Field over the period 1852–1921 are recalled, and the method of conducting an examination of the influence of rainfall on the yield is described. The method yields a series of curves showing at any given period of the year the benefit or loss to the final yield in bushels per acre due to an additional inch of rain over the average at that period. Thirteen plots are considered, and the curves are found to fall roughly into groups corresponding to the system of manuring adopted. The main effects noted are these: (1) Excess of rain is beneficial to the barley crop for a short period in summer, and, in the case of certain plots, over the autumn and winter period. This is in contrast to the corresponding result for wheat on Broadbalk, where excess of rain was found to be beneficial only on a few plots and over a very limited period. (2) Rainfall over the six months when the barley is not in the ground is just as important as rainfall in spring and summer, and the time at which the rain falls in winter is important. Excess of rain in autumn benefits plots 1–A, 3–A and 7–2, and in winter continues to benefit 1–A and 3–A. (3) The curves for 2–O and 2–A are essentially different in character from those of the other plots, and point to the important effect of excess of winter rain in reducing the yield of the plots having phosphate but no alkali salts (i.e. no potash, soda, magnesia). (4) Excess of rain at time of sowing is harmful in all cases. (5) The curves of the “O” series (without nitrogen) are much flatter than those of the “A” series, which have a nitrogenous dressing in addition. (6) The indication of summer benefit is not inconsistent with the conclusions of Hooker that a cool summer is desirable for barley. (7) The farmyard manure plot 7–2 bears certain resemblances to the curve for the corresponding plot 2 b on Broadbalk.

KeywordsLong term experiments
Year of Publication1930
JournalThe Journal of Agricultural Science
Journal citation20 (3), pp. 417-439
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print01 Jul 1930
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
File Access Level

Permalink -

Restricted files


Under embargo indefinitely

12 total views
0 total downloads
0 views this month
0 downloads this month