Long term tillage and rotation trial

CC BY 4.0

Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Barry Haskins (AgGrow)
John Small (CWFS)
Rachael Whitworth (AgGrow)
Year(s) 2016
Contributor Central West Farming Systems
Trial location(s) Merriwagga, NSW
Long term tillage and rotation trial locations

To evaluate the productivity and profitability of no-till farming techniques against conventional farming
methods under various cropping rotations.

Key messages
  • After 18 years there was no standout rotation, in terms of profitability, in any given season. All  rotations had their pros and cons in both wet and dry years. Therefore having a mix
    of rotations and doing things on time is a recipe for a resilient business.
  • The most profitable rotation for the duration of the trial was the continuous cropping rotation, which included two wheat crops followed by a pulse crop in a no-till system. The addition of the pulse crop every third year was beneficial, especially for adding extra nitrogen, however added issues such as broadleaf weed blowouts with weeds like fumitory.
Lead research organisation Central West Farming Systems
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source GRDC CWF00018
Related program N/A
  • Ag Grow Agronomy and Research and Central West Farming Systems would like to acknowledge Ian Barber “Sylvanham” for undertaking various activities such as sowing and harvesting the trial, as well as other local farmers in their efforts to help make this trial what it is.
  • This trial in effect has been unfunded for the majority of its duration, with exception of part of the funding for the 2014- 2016 activities coming from the GRDC project CWF00018 ‘Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble in Central West NSW’.
  • Thanks to all the fun times looking after this trial with innovative growers over the years

Other trial partners AgGrow
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop types Fallow
Treatment type(s)
  • Crop
  • Crop: Rotation
Trial type
Trial design

Merriwagga 2016 Fallow

Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified

Merriwagga 2016 Wheat

Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size 300m x 33.3m
Plot replication Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information
Trial source data and summary not available
Check the trial report PDF for trial results.
Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Merriwagga, NSW Not specified
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Merriwagga, NSW Kandosol
Soil Moisture Source: BOM/ANU
Average amount of water stored in the soil profile during the year, estimated by the OzWALD model-data fusion system.
Year Merriwagga NSW
2016 628.8mm
2015 582.1mm
2014 562.1mm
2013 561.4mm
2012 588.8mm
2011 603.4mm
2010 642.9mm
2009 585.1mm
2008 598.1mm
2007 535.8mm
2006 576.4mm
2005 582.7mm
2004 535.9mm
2003 539.7mm
2002 529.8mm
2001 550.5mm
2000 539.2mm
National soil grid Source: CSIRO/TERN
NOTE: National Soil Grid data is aggregated information for background information on the wider area
Actual soil values can vary significantly in a small area and the trial soil tests are the most relevant data where available

Soil properties



Derived climate information

No observed climate data available for this trial.
Derived climate data is determined from trial site location and national weather sources.

Merriwagga NSW


Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/silo/
Jeffrey, S.J., Carter, J.O., Moodie, K.B. and Beswick, A.R. (2001). Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data , Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol 16/4, pp 309-330. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-8152(01)00008-1.

Trial report and links

2016 trial report

Trial last modified: 26-11-2019 14:24pm AEST