5 Oct 2013

Dung beetles put to work on North Island farm

6:39 am on 5 October 2013

Hundreds of dung beetles that scientists believe improve soil health and pasture productivity are to be released on Tuesday on a South Wairarapa organic dairy farm - the first in the North Island.

Some 500 beetles, which originate from Europe, will be liberated on Ian and Heather Atkinson's farm near Pirinoa as part of a joint project by the Wellington Regional Council and Landcare Research.

Dung beetles use the faeces of animals for food and reproduction, eventually breaking it down into a sawdust-like material.

The Wellington Regional Council says that means there is less faecal runoff into waterways and the nutrients of the matter are available to plants.

Dung beetles were released on a Southland farm last month.