Disinfection in agriculture: a breakdown of the typical application areas for a farm disinfectant
The applications for a farm disinfectant in agriculture are as diverse as they are numerous. Microorganisms threaten farmers’ harvests in many different ways. For example, through infestation and disease-related loss of crop and fodder plants, delayed growth, by making it necessary to use medicines or by causing the death of livestock used for meat and/or milk production, not to mention potential losses after the harvest, e.g. due to mould. Any list of the possible applications for disinfectants in agriculture must therefore include farm disinfection of the following:
- stables/barns and barn equipment
- water, drinking facilities and tank farm cleaning
- irrigation equipment (plant cultivation)
- machinery and equipment
- air/aerosol disinfection of cold rooms and storage tanks
Why is a farm disinfectant used at all?
A farm disinfectant such as a quality farm animal disinfectant protects animals and plants against disease and crop failure. Good hygiene reduces the need to use pesticides and medicines, and lowers veterinary costs.
As a point of criticism regarding the use of disinfectants in agriculture, it is often argued that using large quantities of chemicals leaves behind residues in agricultural products and gives rise to resistant pathogens. These are, of course, correct and important factors. For this reason, the professional application of disinfectants is absolutely essential, whereby the following rules should always be observed:
- “Proper farm cleaning is always better than inadequate disinfection”
This means, of course, that any attempt to disinfect items used in agriculture without first cleaning them will be relatively ineffective. For example, cleaning a dirty surface with soap and water can reduce up to 99% of the pathogens located there. There is a good reason why we often hear this phrase:
- “Hygiene is 98% washing, 2% disinfecting.”
Or in a nutshell:
- “You can’t disinfect dirt!”
This means that any germs hiding under dried-on layers of dirt are protected against practically all disinfection measures. They must first be removed, broken open or completely penetrated by the farm disinfectant.
Using disinfectants in agriculture: where and how?
Disinfecting stables/barns and barn equipment
This is generally recommended for fattening farms that replace all of the animals and fittings at the end of each fattening period (chicken farms, pig farms, turkey farms… ).
The barn is first cleaned mechanically with water (high-pressure cleaner) and then sprayed with a disinfectant solution. Sanosil disinfectants are particularly suitable for this purpose because, in contrast to glutaraldehydes, they leave behind no residues and are far less corrosive than peracetic acid-based products.
Disinfection of water, drinking facilities and tank farm cleaning
This involves adding the best farm disinfectant to drinking water and pipes, thus performing a disinfection of potable water lines, as well as disinfection of water tanks. These agents prevent both a biofilm build-up in the pipes and explosive germ multiplication in the animals’ drinking water.
With a proportional dosing device such as a Dosatron, the pipe system can easily be kept free of germs.
Disinfection of irrigation equipment (plant cultivation)
Unless disinfected, the irrigation systems used in plant cultivation, such as sprinklers, top feeders, ebb-and-flow tables, NFT, etc. tend to become clogged with hazardous biofilms. Equally, Fusarium (mould) spores can spread throughout the entire greenhouse via recirculation systems.
Sanosil disinfectants are particularly suitable for such applications because they have a long-lasting effect in disinfection of water systems, but do not leave behind any problematic residues. Suitable Sanosil disinfectants are approved for drinking-water disinfection.
Disinfection of machinery and equipment
This means in particular the disinfection of equipment that is subject to increased hygiene requirements, such as hoof-care tools, milk-processing equipment, storage containers for fruit and vegetables, sanitizing brewing equipment etc. Disinfection usually takes the form of (a) spraying as a fine mist using suitable disinfection equipment, (b) submersion in a disinfectant solution or (c) wiping with a moistened cloth.
Disinfection of air/aerosol disinfection of cold rooms and storage tanks.
Cold stores and storage rooms, cheese cellars and rooms used for maturing meat are often contaminated with airborne bacteria and mould spores. The air and surfaces in these areas can be disinfected quickly and easily by adding Sanosil farm disinfectant to the humidifier water or creating an airborne mist by means of a fogging machine.
Disinfection of eggs
Eggs are decontaminated or disinfected either via spraying using farm disinfectant spray or brief immersion in Sanosil solution. Bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella, E-Coli, etc. adhering to the shell can thus be effectively eliminated.