Broad-leaved weeds in pasture, such as Carduus nutans, Onopordum spp. and Echium plantagineum are a major problem for graziers in southern Australia. Previous attempts to combat these weeds with a single technique have only resulted in short-term success. An approach to long-term control, combining biological control with different grazing and herbicide strategies, was evaluated in an integrated weed management (IWM) programme, in south-eastern Australia. This IWM study was one of the few that has focused on biological control agents. During the field trials, the impacts of grazing and herbicide treatments on the weed and biological control agents, as well as on pasture composition, were monitored. This paper concentrates on the part of the study that focuses on the role and importance of pasture composition as part of weed management. The main pasture components were monitored using BOTANAL, a sampling technique for estimating species composition and pasture yield in the field. IWM is a long-term ecological approach and after 3 years, major trends were just becoming apparent. This study shows that pasture composition can be manipulated to increase productivity and sustainability. It demonstrates that broad-leaved weeds can be reduced when high level pasture background management and chemical control are combined.