BSF Project Information

Background

 

Livestock industries produce large volumes of wastes including manures, bedding, carcasses and other waste materials. The management of these wastes is time-consuming and expensive for livestock producers. 

 

Poor waste management practices in the past have contributed to odour issues, stable fly outbreaks, greenhouse gas emissions, and nutrient leaching into waterways resulting in more stringent regulations on livestock manure disposal and a significant increase in cost of manure management to waste producers.

Black Soldier Fly (BSF) farming is an emerging, innovative, and low-cost waste management technology that offers the potential to convert organic livestock wastes into useful end products.

 

 

Black Soldier Flies are non-invasive, non-biting, non-pest fly species that do not eat. However, their larvae can be reared on a range of animal, cropping and abattoir waste. BSF larvae have a high waste degradation efficiency (50% reduction in 24 hours) and can reduce the volume of waste by up to 79% depending on the type and composition of the waste substrate. 

 

The castings, or frass, of BSF larvae are rich in trace elements, organic carbon, macro- and micro-nutrients, making them an excellent candidate for fertilisers / soil improvers. BSF larvae themselves are fat and protein–rich and could serve as animal feed for aquaculture and other industries.

Larvae_10_edited.jpg

Project Description

This project will demonstrate that BSF technology can provide a sustainable pathway for waste management and enable primary industries to increase productivity and profitability by generating new products, revenue streams, and markets whilst reducing on-farm operational costs associated with waste management and fertiliser availability.

The utilisation of farming waste products to develop new products (organic fertilisers and soil improvers) that can be used by a variety of end-users (cropping, horticulture, home-garden industries, among others) will not only open new markets and create new revenues for profit for livestock and cropping industries but also contribute to the improved sustainability of Australian agriculture.

Goals

Goal 1

 

Develop low-cost, slow-release fertiliser and soil improver products tailored to specific crops and soil types that are safe to handle, store, and transport.  

The fertiliser products will be developed to include novel controlled delivery nitrogen transformation inhibitors, and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria to ensure increased nutrient uptake.

 

The soil improver products will be developed to address soil constraints of acidity, water repellence, and compaction to ensure improved soil water retention.

Products will be developed to be used with different application practices (deep placement and surface) and in different forms (granular, pelletised, encapsulated, and liquid).

Goal 2

 

Quantify the agronomic and economic benefits as well as the biosecurity and environmental risks associated with applying BSF frass products to cropping systems.

The project will contribute to existing evidence of the potential of BSF technology as a biocontrol mechanism for stable flies and other nuisance flies, and pathogens (Camplyobacter, Salmonella, E. coli) that are associated with waste management in agricultural communities.

 

Goal 3

 

Overcome barriers to the adoption of BSF frass products by:

 

a) undertaking community perception surveys and developing extension strategies based on it;

 

b) involving policy makers and farmers during product trails; and

c) assisting early adopters through extension activities.

Research team

Sasha profile image.jpg

Dr Sasha Jenkins

Project Lead, UWA.

Dr Jenkins has over ten years of research and teaching experience in the application of microbial biotechnology for sustainable agricultural waste management. Her research focuses on the optimisation of low-cost waste treatment technologies for the recapture of bioenergy, nutrients and water and development of novel fertilisers and feeds from the recovered resources. 

Siddique profile image.jpg

Professor Kadambot Siddique

Team Member, UWA Institute of Agriculture.

Professor Siddique has over 30 years’ experience in agricultural research, teaching, and management in Australia and overseas. He has developed an international reputation in the fields of crop physiology, production agronomy, farming systems, genetic resources, breeding research in cereal, grain, and pasture, legumes, and oilseed crops. He specialises in conducting research into the adaptation of crops.  

Andrew Guzzomi profile image.jpg

Dr Andrew Guzzomi

Team Member, UWA.

Dr Guzzomi's research interests are in engineering innovation related to agricultural engineering and restoration ecology. He uses his strong foundation in kinematics, dynamics, vibration and mechanical design to develop innovative technologies. He regularly consults with leading industries to offer innovative design insights and to design, build and commission new machinery.  

Cook profile image.jpg

Associate Professor David Cook (Adjunct)

Team Member, 

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, WA.

Dr Cook has worked on flies as pests of humans and livestock (e.g., stable flies, blowflies) for over 25 years as well as the use of blowflies in forensic cases to determine the post-mortem interval. He is the National leader of a national collaborative project (Managing Flies for Crop Pollination) looking into the use of flies as pollinators of key horticultural crops, which encompasses calliphorids, muscids and syrphids. 

Matt-Redding_edited_edited.jpg

Dr Matthew Redding

Team Member, 

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, QLD.

Dr Redding works in the QLD government sector as a research expert, specialisation is in Agronomy, Environmental Science and Plant Fertilization, agricultural sensing, and automation. 

Fay image.jpg

Dr Fay Rola-Rubzen

Team Member, UWA.

Dr Rola-Rubzen's research focuses on poverty and food security, agribusiness value chains, rural development, sustainable and resilient farming systems, farmer behaviour and technology adoption, and the intersection between gender and economics.  She has a strong capacity in socio-economic analysis, stakeholder needs analysis, benefit-cost analysis, adoption of sustainable agriculture practices,  and program evaluation.

Vandana profile image.jpg

Dr Vandana Subroy

Team Member, UWA.

Dr Subroy's expertise is in non-market valuation techniques (specifically, discrete choice experiments), cost-benefit analysis, and in survey design and analysis.  Her research uses economic valuation and cost-benefit analysis to better guide environmental and conservation policy decision-making. 

Daniel profile image_edited.jpg

Daniel Kidd

Team Member, UWA.

Mr Kidd is a Research Officer and PhD candidate at UWA with over 15 years’ experience working in the pasture legume industry. He has a strong knowledge of plant and soil nutrition, farming systems and agronomic evaluation of pasture plants. His most recent work has examined the morphological and physiological characteristics of plant roots that contribute to nutrient acquisition. He is assessing the potential for Black Soldier Fly frass products to be used as a soil improver for broadacre crops and pastures.

Sun profile image.jpg

Sun Kumar Gurung

Team Member, UWA.

Mr. Gurung is a PhD student at UWA who specialized in rhizospheric bacteria and their effects on plant growth during his Masters.  His interests include uptake of plants nutrients, soil fertility and plant-soil microbe continuum. Currently, his research focuses on investigating the potential for Black Soldier Fly frass products to be used as a soil improver for horticultural crops.

Marit profile image.jpg

Associate Professor Marit Kragt

Project Lead, UWA.

Dr Kragt is an expert on nonmarket valuation and interdisciplinary research. Her work focusses on sustainable natural resources management, predominantly in the agricultural sector. Her expertise has also been applied in the context of mine site rehabilitation and farmers’ adoption of new technologies.

Megan Ryan profile image.jpg

Professor Megan Ryan

Team Member, UWA.

Professor Ryan leads a large team that undertakes research across a broad range of areas related to development of sustainable farming systems.  Key areas of focus include phosphorus nutrition of crop and pastures species and the development of phosphorus-efficient systems. 

Santini profile image.jpg

Dr Talitha Santini

Team Member, UWA.

Dr Santini's research spans geochemistry, mineralogy, and microbiology, with a focus on developing new technologies to improve environmental quality. She applies her expertise in geochemistry and leaching risk assessment to understanding release mechanisms of heavy metals and nutrients from various frass products.

LukeTeamPhoto.png

Luke Wheat

Team Member,

Future Green Solutions.

With a diverse range of experience across field biology and environmental management operations, Mr Wheat brings a unique and multidisciplinary approach to the research and development to enable growth of FGS’s technology and process. His  comprehensive understanding of data collection, experimental design and in-depth knowledge of daily operations ensure a rigorous yet practical approach to developing the Project. 

Fiona profile image_edited.jpg

Dr Fiona Dempster

Team Member, UWA.

Dr Dempster is a broadacre grains farmer and agricultural economist, with R&D expertise in farming systems, adoption of new technologies, survey design and administration and return on investment. Her research as also included adapting the benefit: cost analysis framework to evaluate complex policy decisions, such as targeted prescribed burning and environmental restoration. 

Sofina profile image_edited.jpg

Sofia Katzin

Team Member,

Future Green Solutions.

Ms Katzin's interest is in maximising nutrient availability in poor nutrient substrates such as food waste (vegetable waste, brewers’ grains, etc.) and animal waste (manures, carcasses, etc) in order to improve larvae growth, protein yield and food conversion rates. She has sound knowledge of food/animal waste composition, quality, and shelf life. 

Jen profile image.jpg

Dr Jen Middleton

Team Member, UWA.

Dr Middleton is an ecologist with a strong interest in microbial community dynamics and biogeochemical cycling. Her expertise lies in understanding how microbiomes influence the functioning of natural and engineered ecosystems. As part of this project, she is testing how waste from the production of Black Soldier Fly larvae can be utilised as a soil improver.

Andrew profile image.jpg

Dr. Andrew Youssef

Team Member, UWA.

Dr Youssef specialises in 3D printing applications, dry ice blasting optimisation, and agricultural engineering.  He is currently focusing on the mechanical properties of pelletised BSF frass products, ensuring their ability to perform as a fertilizer as well as be able to be shipped and handled without degradation.

Isobel 2.JPG

Isobel Sewell

Team Member, UWA.

Ms Sewell is a PhD student at UWA with a strong interest in the application of black soldier fly larvae as a ‘future protein’ source, specifically in aquaculture nutrition. Her current research through the BSF project is in developing granulated and pelletised fertiliser product.

 

This project is funded by

UWA.png
Dairy Australia.png
Future_Green_Solutions.png
department-of-agriculture-and-fisheries.
AMPC.jpg
Aust Pork® - PMS198.png
Agrifutures.png
FRDC_300 dpi.png
AUSEGGS_RGB.png