Crofton weed (Ageratina adenophora)

Weed control program

Section 371 (1) b of the Biosecurity Act 2015

This Weed Control Program is a Council endorsed document under Section 371 (1) (b) of the Biosecurity Act 2015 and describes how a person must discharge the person’s general biosecurity duty for the biosecurity matter (weed) described.

Plant species

Common name: Crofton weed 
Scientific name: Ageratina adenophora

Area of operation

Local government area of Eurobodalla Shire.

Species information

Once established, seedlings tolerate shade and grow rapidly. In this way, small infestations of Crofton weed rapidly increase in size unless controlled.

Horses may preferentially graze the plant even when ample feed is available. Access to Crofton weed for as little as eight weeks can cause sickness. If horses are not removed from infested areas, death from respiratory failure is the eventual result, with affected horses often suddenly collapsing and dying during work. Treatment of Crofton weed poisoning is unlikely to reverse the damage, so early detection of poisoning and removal from the weed infestation is essential. If you suspect poisoning, seek veterinary advice. Poisoned horses may never again be capable of work.

Crofton weed reduces the ecological value of bush land, lowers crop yields and reduces the carrying capacity of grazing land. The weed spread rapidly during the 1940s and 1950s and it was reported that in some areas dairy farmers and banana growers abandoned their holdings.

The threat of this plant invading via machinery, vehicles, stock movement and fodder is high, and landholders must be able to identify the plant, and ensure adequate biosecurity measures are in place to prevent the introduction of this grass to the property. Crofton weed poses a high threat to the vitality of both modified and native pastures in productive wetter areas, and as such would be highly detrimental to both grazing based agriculture, and to riparian areas and other suitable natural areas in the Eurobodalla Shire.

Legal obligations

Any person who deals with biosecurity matter or a carrier and who knows, or ought reasonably to know, the biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed by the biosecurity matter, carrier or dealing has a biosecurity duty to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the biosecurity risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised.

Weed risk assessment

Risk level: Medium
Impacts: Economy and environment
Control objective: Containment

Council control requirements

  1. The plant must be destroyed.
  2. The landholder must prevent spread from their land.
  3. The landholder or occupier must notify Council if the plant is found on the land.


A person who fails to discharge the person’s general biosecurity duty is guilty of an offence.

In the event that the general biosecurity duty is not discharged, Council may:

  • charge a reinspection fee
  • issue a fine notice (refer to Biosecurity Regulation 2017 (NSW) Schedule 6 - Penalty notice offences)
  • enter the property, perform weed direction works, and recoup all costs and expenses incurred.

Review date

When required.

Contact details

Invasive Species Supervisor - Biosecurity Act 2015 Authorised Officer
PO Box 99
Moruya NSW 2537

T: 02 4474 1000