Rothamsted Research is the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries.
Rothamsted Research is the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries. Harpenden is the main site of Rothamsted Research, covering 330ha, in addition to two further arable farms at Woburn and Brooms Barn. The site works from gene to field to deliver sustainable and productive agricultural systems and has on-site custom designed laboratories and research facilities which are fully integrated into two working farms.
Rothamsted runs a range of field experiments, and the farms are a major service provider to the scientific community. On farm facilities are able to provide specific field conditions, rotational slots and offer different soil types across the managed arable land. Experiments are conducted on a range of crops including wheat, barley, oilseed rape, field beans and oats. In addition, miscanthus and willow is grown for biomass trials and the site is home to the UK National Willow Collection.
Rothamsted hosts three internationally important National Capabilities, the first of which is the North Wyke Platform in Devon which has been a LEAF Innovation Centre since 2015. The Harpenden site is home to the two other National Capabilities: the Rothamsted Insect Survey and the Long Term Experiments.
The Long Term Experiments at Harpenden include the Park Grass experiments which have been collecting data on organic and inorganic grassland inputs since 1856 and the Broadbalk site which has been studying the effect of different organic manures and inorganic fertilizers on winter wheat yields since 1843. In addition, Rothamsted runs a range of GM field research trials and has recently begun a long-term trial comparing conventional plough vs zero till arable systems.
On average Rothamsted runs 120 experiments throughout the year and harvests up to 12,000 plots during the summer.