• Off-season rainfall of 125mm (Dec-Apr) was above average with most falling in Dec-Jan with negligible rain through autumn until the break in June. Good rains through the remainder of the growing season brought the GSR up to the average of around 160mm
• The good off-season rain was ideal for stubble breakdown, non-symbiotic N fixation and net N mineralisation from the intensive cereal treatments yet was not high enough for significant N leaching following the pasture or pulse phases.
• At sowing treatments had between 20-36 mm of available soil moisture stored to 1m (approx 40-60% of the soils storage capacity) the bulk of this located at 20-60cm below the surface.
• Soil Nitrogen levels after either pulses or pasture were very high at sowing while after wheat N levels were lower but still adequate.
• Yield potential at sowing was 1.6t/ha of wheat based on the available water (stored soil moisture and average rainfall from sowing).
• Final grain yields ranged from 2.0 to 2.4t/ha. The higher yields occurred in the intensive cropping treatments and exceeded the recalculated potential yields (using actual rainfall). The lower yields occurred in the district practice pasture/wheat treatments.
• After 8 years of the trial (which included 2 severe droughts) cumulative gross margins were still highest following opportunity cropping ($1102/ha) and compared favorably to the district practice wheat / pasture ($602/ha).