15 June 2022
Two of Harper's current Research students, Jie Xiang and Misbah Sehar - both currently researching drought, using field experiments on the Harper farm, recently had the opportunity to see the World's first field experiments, which are still in progress 179 years later!
The Chair of the Field Experiments Committee at Rothamsted, Ian Shield, and willow breeder and former HAU MPhil student, William Macalpine, gave Jie, Misbah and their Director of Studies - Peter Kettlewell, a bespoke tour of some of the historic field experiments at Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire.
The visit included the Broadbalk wheat experiment that started in 1843 and the Park Grass pasture experiment (see main photo) that began in 1856, both of which compare different fertiliser and lime treatments. They also saw the UK National Willow Collection of 1,500 varieties, the Rothamsted sample archive (see example in photo) and Rothamsted's controlled environment and glasshouse facilities.
Jie and Misbah both took the opportunity, following the tour, to meet with research and devlopment staff of crop biostimulant company Plant Impact (Pi), based on the Rothamsted campus. Misbah discussed her internship, undertaken earlier ths year with the parent company of Pi - chemical ingredients manufacturer- Croda, and Jie discussed the research work she will undertake with Pi in the autumn of this year.