Skeleton weed Management guide - Program and protocols

Page last updated: Wednesday, 27 November 2019 - 12:20pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Skeleton weed infested properties

Cropping areas

When skeleton weed is found on a property (usually in summer and autumn), it is referred to as an ‘infested property’. Each infested paddock on the property is assigned a code that signifies a particular stage in the eradication process.
A current infested paddock becomes a Code 1 paddock. Infestations are marked with a 20m buffer and must not be worked through during the next seeding period. This will allow the winter treatment application of picloram based herbicides, such as Tordon™ 75D or FallowBoss™ (or equivalent) as these are highly effective at moving through the soil profile and destroying the plant roots.
The paddock remains Code 1 until the pegged infestation(s) has received a winter treatment AND a Full Search by the landholder (or Skeleton Weed Program registered contractor) the following summer. If the paddock is found to be re-infested it remains Code 1 for the next season. If it receives a Clear Search, it progresses to Code 2. The entire paddock should then be cropped the following season (including old pegged infestation sites).
A Code 2 paddock requires a Surveillance Search post-harvest. If no plants are found it becomes Code 3. A clear Full Search the next summer results in the paddock becoming Code 4, and it is released from the ‘infested list’ of paddock/s on the property. If the paddock is re-infested at any time during this period, it returns to Code 1 and the process starts over.

Grazing areas

The codes for the pasture paddocks remain the same, and the summer searching and winter treatment regimes still apply. However, because no cropping takes place, two additional surveillance searches are required once the paddock becomes a Code 4 paddock.

This mainly applies to areas west of Gingin and Moora. As there is no cropping, fragments of plants are unlikely to be moved and re-establish, so spread is generally only by seeds.

Explanation of paddock codes



Code 1

New infested paddock/infested last search

Code 2

First clear search of previously Code 1 paddock

Code 3

Second consecutive clear search

Code 4*

Third consecutive clear search, possible release from 'infested list'

Code 5**

Surveillance Search of (non infested) suspect paddock or adjacent paddocks, no plants found

* Code 4 paddocks require a ‘paddock audit’ by DPIRD or LAG staff before release from the infested list.

** Paddocks that are not infested, but where a Surveillance Search is undertaken, are recorded as Code 5 paddocks on the Infested property paddock records.


Martin Atwell