Hallbar Consulting. Global Expertise Local Biomass Solutions.

Importance of Biobeds

Biobeds for pesticide managementThe use of pesticides is common throughout agriculture and horticulture to control for pests and weeds. However, despite caution with their use, pesticide point source contamination often occurs due to spills and leaks that happen while handling and mixing pesticides, or pesticide rinsate from cleaning pesticide equipment.

Pesticide point source contaminations are of great significance because they are typically very high in pesticide concentrations, and as such, just a few drops can give rise to substantial pollution in surface and groundwater. For example, if a few drops of pesticide concentrate containing 1 gram of active substance is spilled over a small area (only 10cm by 10cm), this is equivalent to applying 1 tonne of pesticide per hectare. Normal pesticide doses are in the order of only 1 gram to 1 kg per hectare.

Pesticide point source contamination has been identified as a significant contributor to the deterioration of surface and ground waters, with studies showing that point sources account for a staggering 40 – 90% of the pesticide contamination. Effective management of pesticides and pesticide rinsate is therefore critical to protecting surface and ground waters, and to achieve an environmentally agricultural sector.

Many preventative and mitigation actions have been undertaken to minimize pesticide point source contamination, including the implementation of advanced decontamination systems using physical, chemical or biological methods. Most of these systems are either cost-inefficient or associated with elevated technological requirements, making them unsuitable for agricultural operations. A low-cost, simple system that provides an economical and practical option to address pesticide point source contamination is therefore needed.

One such system is the Biobed. Originated in Sweden and widely adopted throughout Europe in response to the need for a simple and effective environmental contamination method from pesticide spills and rinsate, Biobeds are essentially excavations or containers filled with a biologically active matrix of soil, lignocellulosic materials (most often straw) and organic substrate (most often compost) mixed at variable volumetric ratios.
Point Source Contamination
Point source contamination from agricultural pesticide spills, leaks, and cleaning pesticide equipment has been show to account for a staggering 40 – 90% of all pesticide contamination of water.

Despite their simplicity, Biobeds are highly effective at collecting and decontaminating. When pesticide point source contaminations occur, the pesticides are locked up in the Biobed where microbial degradation of the active ingredients occur. This degradation ensures that pesticides are no longer harmful and prevents damage to the surrounding environment. Biobeds are therefore seen as an ideal, inexpensive and easy to use tool for reducing a significant source of pesticide contamination.

For more information about Biobeds or if you have any questions regarding pesticide management please please contact us.

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