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Project Partners: FarmLink, CSU, MLA, Rural R and D for Profit
Project Duration: 2019-2020
Project Location: FarmLink Region
Manure can immobilise nutrients in the soil - reducing mineral uptake needed to produce pasture. Additionally, dung serves as a medium for insect pests that spread of diseases - compromising human and animal health and productivity, resulting in economic losses due to the increased costs from our dependence on chemicals to prevent or control.
Australia has several species of native dung beetle, all having evolved specifically to deal with the manure of macropods and other native animals. These varieties are not adapted to introduced European livestock and their larger type of dung. The absence of appropriate complimentary dung beetle can be observed in longstanding retention of dung in the paddock and the slow rate of its decomposition.
FarmLink is partnering with CSU designed to enhance dung beetle populations in Australia in addition to eight partner organizations as part of a national collaborative project that will be conducting surveys of existing dung beetle populations, followed by rearing and introducing several new strains of dung beetles across southern and western Australia.
This is a five-year project aimed to quantify the environmental and economic value of dung beetles on farms, rebuilding the national capabilities to develop a sustainable RD&E business model of dung beetle services.