Walking around the farm, moving cows or putting out fences, we look at the round. We look at all sorts of things - the grasses, the litter and the manure. It has been very pleasing to see evidence of dung beetles doing their thing all through the winter. To us this is an indication that the environment here is healthy and diverse. Where there are dung beetles there is vibrant microbial activity in the soil.
We were given a head start here on the farm because Sam's father Jim ceased using synthetic fertilisers in the 1970s. He could see that the native grasses were being swamped by short-lived annuals that boomed briefly but damaged the long-term health of the soil and community of grasses. When we came along and changed grazing management the farm was ready to bounce.
Now that the days are getting longer and warmer we hope that the dung beetles and soil microbes will enjoy spring as much as we do.