BEETLES RULE

According to one of Australia’s foremost experts on dung beetles, these tiny animals are the secret to carbon capture and clean water.

In the latest in the Soils For Life video series, John Feehan OAM describes the crucial role that dung beetles play in facilitating water penetration, introducing carbon, and removing nutrients and chemicals from our waterways and oceans.

“Every single day, our 28 million cattle drop half a million tonnes of dung a day over this tired burnt out continent. And if there’s ever a continent on this planet that needed every gram of this valuable material being put underground and put to good use, it is Australia”, John says.

“Cattle drop around 12 cowpads per day and the average weight of these weighs about one and half kilograms. When dung beetles are working well, for every litre of dung they put into the soil, they bring up about two kilograms of subsoil”.

In a detailed explanation of how dung beetles work, John says by putting the dung underground, the beetles not only aerate the soil, but improve microbial activity.

“Earthworms can move into the habitat, and you sequester massive amounts of CO2 in the tunnel system with the microbial activity”.

“Scientists have told me that CO2 can be sequestered in the soil just as efficiently with microbial activity as plankton can sequester into the oceans, and this can go on forever”.

John Feehan works with farmers all around the country, harvesting beetles and sending the right species for their conditions – by post – almost overnight.

“We have a very good working winter species for southern Australia. It becomes active in May when the first winter rains arrive that works through May June July and August, and the beetles then go into hibernation and then reappear in the following year in May when the average winter rains arrive”.

“This is the answer to nutrient and chemical runoff from farmland into waterways – into the creeks, rivers, estuaries and oceans”.

Find the interview with John Feehan here.

Soils for Life programs demonstrate proven solutions in regenerative landscape management to increase the natural capital value of the Australian landscape – rural, regional and urban.

For more information contact: Niree Creed, Media, Soils For Life, 0418625595

20 LANDHOLDERS, ONE 50 KM CREEK, AND A UNIQUE REGENERATIVE SUCCESS STORY

The latest case study from Soils For Life traces a remarkable collaboration amongst farmers to regenerate a whole catchment on the NSW Southern Tablelands, and over 20 farms which depend on it.

The Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project is unique, long term and broad.

With the guidance and co-ordination of The Mulloon Institute, 20 landholders are working collaboratively to repair and rehydrate the creeks, gullies and agricultural landscapes of the catchment. It has also presented an opportunity for those land managers to develop a baseline understanding of the catchment’s condition as a whole.

The goal has been to reverse the damage done to the landscape by 200 years of ‘modern agriculture’. This project builds on a pilot project undertaken in 2006 when the founder of the Institute, Tony Coote AM, under the guidance of Peter Andrews, began to restore the natural function of the eroded creeks and gullies on his property, Mulloon Creek Natural Farm.

Mr Coote was able to boost his property’s agricultural productivity, ecological complexity and availability of high quality water. His Institute’s work has been recognised by the United Nations.

The results of this unique project are being monitored and benchmarked by the Institute.

Landholders are reporting a better, higher quality flow of water. To prove this, the Institute is collecting data over time on the impact of moderated water flows on the ecology and the agricultural productivity of the whole system.

In this Soils For Life video case study, three landholders explain the positive impact of the project.

The Chair of the Institute, Gary Nairn AO, also explains the overall aim of the Project, and Co-Ordinator Peter Hazell describes some of the benefits of slowing the flow, and tells how a community came together for the benefit of the whole catchment.

The Soils For Life Mulloon Creek case study can be found here.

Soils for Life programs demonstrate proven solutions in regenerative landscape management to increase the natural capital value of the Australian landscape – rural, regional and urban.

For more information contact:

Niree Creed, Media, Soils For Life, 0418625595

Peter Hazell, Co-Ordinator, Mulloon Creek Community Landscape Rehydration Project, 0427075397

John Feehan – Dung beetles

And now – everything you ever wanted to know about dung beetles from one of Australia’s top experts. John Feehan says these tiny creatures have the answer to carbon sequestration and preventing nutrient and chemical runoff into our waterways.

John West – Mulloon Creek Catchment

This interview with John West is part of our Mulloon Creek Catchment case study. The case study outlines the collaboration between 20 farmers rehydrating their creek and agricultural landscape.

John West has seen a remarkable transformation on his part of the Creek, in a very short time. In 12 weeks, and with five interventions, John’s seeing fish and birds for the first time in decades, as well as clean water good enough for a dip.

Gerry Carroll and Andrew Robinson – Mulloon Creek Catchment

This interview with Gerry Carroll and Andrew Robinson is part of our Mulloon Creek Catchment case study. The case study outlines the collaboration between 20 farmers rehydrating their creek and agricultural landscape.

Gerry was one of the first landowners to come on board with Tony Coote’s vision. Gerry and his manager, Andrew, have seen outstanding results from slowing down the Creek, and building up surrounding pasture.

Sue and Ulli Tuisk – Mulloon Creek Catchment

This interview with Sue and Ulli Tusk, is part of our Mulloon Creek Catchment case study. The case study outlines the collaboration between 20 farmers rehydrating their creek and agricultural landscape.

The Tuisks, who own historic “Palerang”, decided to install a slightly different type of weir – in the form of a “V”.

Peter Hazell – Mulloon Creek Catchment

This interview with Peter Hazell is part of our Mulloon Creek Catchment case study. The case study outlines the collaboration between 20 farmers rehydrating their creek and agricultural landscape.

Peter, Project Coordinator at the Mulloon Institute, coordinates 20 landholders and work on 14 farms.