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Manjimup farmer takes out award for innovative use of dung beetles

Doug Pow and chair of WA Landcare Keith Bradby

A Manjimup farmer has had a win at the Western Australia Landcare Awards after he used the dung beetle, Bubas bison, to help implement a carbon positive approach to the agricultural industry.

Doug Pow of Marron Brook Farm won the 2019 Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture Land Management Award on October 3.

The award comes after Mr Pow sidestepped intensive machinery to fertilise inaccessible Alps slopes by developing a strategy using the dung beetle to bury the biochar-infused manure deep within the soil profile.

Mr Pow said being awarded for innovation in Agriculture was an honour and hoped it would help spread the systems he had developed more widely.

“My goal is to have extreme long term carbon sequestration profitably integrated into all agricultural practice,” Mr Pow said.

Doug Pow discussing the biochar trial with New Zealand Biochar Network’s Trevor Richards, and Rainbow Bee Eater directors Peter Burgess and Ian Stanley

The innovative carbon sequestration practice, is understood to result in healthy cattle, improved soil nutrient levels and pasture growth.

The practice has lead to a short-term State NRM funded trial at Bannister Downs Dairy.

Doug will go on to represent WA while competing for the Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture Land Management Award at the National Landcare Awards in 2020.

Dr Shane Norrish, CEO at Landcare Australia, commended Mr Pow on his outstanding accomplishments.

“It’s an honour to be able to recognise the great work being carried out by someone like Doug Pow,” said Dr Norrish.

“A hugely deserved winner, he has not only significantly contributed to the protection of native biodiversity through on-ground, grassroots activities. But through his tireless work, he is nurturing the voices of international environmental leadership on climate change and we’re incredibly proud to help shine a light on his inspiring, important efforts.”

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