This project was proposed in response to the need to consider animal health as a priority to remedy soil health.
The project has been working on providing balanced microbes to the animal feed or water supply to improve the digestive capabilities of animals. It is examining how this process may in turn produce better dung and urine to improve soil health by releasing locked up nutrients, increasing organic matter, reducing acidity in soils and reducing pollution. The potential benefits of this research that builds on private trials of a balanced supply of microbes to animals will be widespread. The aim is that local farmers will be rewarded with better stock and soil, less pollution, and better quality produce.
Norm Cooper, the Fellowship recipient of Farming Focus in Koroit reports that the opportunity to conduct this research has been wonderful as it has allowed him to work with his own knowledge and long term experience as a farmer, in discussion with others in the region interested in improving the quality of their farms and farming practices. Norm is also so encouraged and motivated that the Fellowship allowed for a ground-up opportunity to work through his idea, in discussion with others – and that it enabled the development of a process that could also benefit the region. The writing-up stage of the project is expected to conclude in 2016, with the support of the Fellowship Office at RMIT University, Melbourne.