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code of practice

"Promotes the responsible establishment and management of combined

leucaena grass pastures."


Best management CODE OF PRACTICE

for establishing and managing Leucaena Pastures

Endorsed by The Leucaena Network committee, DAFF Q and AGFORCE



Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala subspecies glabrata), when planted with improved grass species

provides a sustainable forage grazing system in northern Australia. Leucaena has been grown

commercially in Queensland since the late 1970s. The Queensland Government recognises that

leucaena is a valuable forage when managed properly, but it constitutes a threat to the natural

environment if not contained in those areas in which it has been planted, or controlled in those

areas that it has invaded.


Weed Potential

The most significant weed trait of leucaena is its potential to form dense thickets in ungrazed areas

over time. Any ripe seed that escapes flower-eating caterpillars and bruchid beetles can stay viable

in the soil for several years.


The current major weed impact comes from ungrazed 'common' leucaena (L. leucocephala

subspecies leucocephala). This has been naturalised in coastal and urban areas of Northern

Australia for more than 100 years - long before the release of commercial cultivars for grazing.

However, it must be noted that commercial cultivars of subspecies glabrata have similar weed

potential. When planted as ungrazed ornamentals in urban areas, plants can contribute to the

weed threat. Commercial leucaena pastures must not be allowed to contribute to the weed



Leucaena must be grown to this Best Management CODE OF PRACTICE directive


Purpose of the Best Management Code of Practice

The Best Management Code of Practice (CODE) targets those features of leucaena

that pre- dispose it to weediness and advocates management to limit their impact. It

aims to promote the responsible, sustainable and productive development of

combined leucaena/grass pastures. It is essential that the CODE be adopted by all

landowners who have leucaena on their properties.

The use of leucaena for any purpose other than as a highly managed and well

contained forage for animal production is not supported by industry bodies and

Government agencies, and should be discouraged. This CODE is supported by

Queensland Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)







• Avoid planting leucaena near potential weed risk zones

• Minimise seed set in grazed stands

• Diminish the risk of live seed dispersal

• Control escaped plants from grazed stands

Principles of the Best Management Code of Practice

Plant leucaena ONLY if you intend to manage it and are prepared to accept responsibility to

control leucaena that establishes outside the planted area on your property, including



This can be achieved by adopting the following practices:

1. Do not plant leucaena in areas where rivers, creeks and flood channels can disperse

seed pods/seed. If leucaena becomes a restricted or regulated plant under a Wild

Rivers declaration, growers must comply with the relevant Wild Rivers Code

2. Keep leucaena at least 20m away from external fence lines

3. Maintain a buffer strip of strong grass pasture between leucaena plantings and creeks

or boundary fences

4. Fully fence leucaena paddocks to avoid the unlikely risk of stock spreading ripe seed

5. Graze or cut leucaena to keep it within the reach of animals and minimise seedset

6. Chemically manage leucaena escapes. There are a range of chemical control options

for example Tordon®(picloram) granules, Access®, Vigilant II (picloram + aminopyralid.)

For more information on control measures please seek the Biosecurity Qld Fact-Sheet

on Leucaena (No PP85)

7. Establish and manage vigorous grass in the inter-rows to:

a. provide competition to minimise establishment of volunteer leucaena seedlings

b. minimize the risk of seed being transported during heavy rain

c. productively utilize fixed nitrogen the system produces

d. maintain ground cover and prevent soil erosion

8. Maintain the practice of:

a. regularly monitoring creeks and major watercourses to detect any escaped leucaena

seedlings and plants

b. controlling all plants detected adjacent to property boundaries

• on creek banks and other adjoining areas where cattle do not normally have access

• on public roadsides (after first obtaining a permit from Main Roads or Shire Council)

9. Comply with local laws (weed declarations etc) and assist Local Government agencies

to identify any escaped leucaena so that action can be taken to control it

10. Promote the responsible management of leucaena in accordance with this Code

11. Keep abreast of best practice developments in the management of leucaena.



Join to find out more about the establishment and management of leucaena pastures

Contact | Bron Christensen | Executive Officer

Mobile 0488 931 691 |

This Code of Practice is endorsed by AgForce and its development was

financially supported by MLA

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