Thursday, 22 October 2015 09:37

Dung beetles to the rescue

Written by  Jessica Wilson
Dung beetle life cycles. Dung beetle life cycles.

The end of winter means Dung Beetle Innovations' (DBI) rearing facilities are coming to life.

Stock will be in anything but short supply as DBI beetles become available in either whole farm packages or as individual colonies in farm starter or lifestyle packages.

The beetles are so popular; DBI are expanding their rearing facilities. By the end of 2016, they will have expanded into a further 1000 square meter hothouse facility utilising more than 175 bins.

Dr Shaun A. Forgie, co-founder of DBI, says, "The process of dung recycling is part of an age-old natural process that livestock animals and dung beetles co-evolved together in. You import the livestock and not the beetles and the natural cycle is broken resulting in an accumulation of un-utilised dung sitting around on the pasture surface,"

"The rapid burial of fresh dung will help alleviate many issues stemming from current intensive farming practices including water quality." he says.

Forgie also adds that we cannot rely on our own native dung beetle fauna as they are specific to our native habitat, not pastoral ones.

"Dung beetles are a cost effective, low maintenance, option in significantly helping long term sustainability of livestock farming." says Forgie.

Once established, dung beetles are self-sustaining and their population will sit proportional to the dung available.

"They will help save the farmer dollars with a reduced reliance on solid fertilizer inputs and drenches over the long term, with dung beetles playing an important and significant role in adding nutrient rich dung into the soil horizon and reducing survivorship and reinfection rates of parasitic gut nematodes." 

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