Simulation models are valuable tools in the analysis of complex, highly constrained economic systems unsuitable for solution by mathematical programming. However, model size may hamper the efforts of practitioners to efficiently identify the most valuable configurations. This paper investigates the efficacy of a new metaheuristic procedure, compressed annealing, for the solution of large, constrained systems. This algorithm is used to investigate the value of incorporating a sown annual pasture, French serradella (Ornithopus sativa Brot. cv. Cadiz), between extended cropping sequences in the central wheat belt of Western Australia. Compressed annealing is shown to be a reliable means of considering constraints in complex optimisation problems in agricultural economics. It is also highlighted that the value of serradella to dryland crop rotations increases with the initial weed burden and the profitability of livestock production.