Build a Biobed for rinsate

Biobed update – April 24, 2020

FS Biobed
Farming Smarter built itself a biobed system to be able to research, demonstrate and use it for all its rinsate. The system worked well in year 1 and Farming Smarter will continue to study how it fairs in the years come.

Farming Smarter wants individual farms across Alberta to build a pesticide rinsate biobed system. To facilitate this initiative, it built a mobile biobed on a trailer this winter to guide producers interested in assembling one on their farm. The mobile biobed is not a fully functional system to degrade pesticides, but rather a small-scale version of the real system to guide farmers in assembling a system of their own.

We reached out to Counties/MD’s in southern Alberta to bring the trailer closer to their residents. We want to give people a chance to take the unit home and copy the idea. You will be able to find it at Lethbridge County office June 8-12, County of Warner from June 15-26 and in Cypress County July 6-17. There is no cost to borrow this unit from Farming Smarter or the County/MD. If you live outside these Counties but are still interesting in bringing this unit home to help you during construction, please contact Jamie 403-317-0022.

biobed trailer
Farming Smarter built this demonstration biobed on a trailer, so that landowners could take it home and copy the system.

Southern Irrigation created a parts package for this system and includes almost all the parts you will need (cost $4,556.72). The parts package does not include digital outdoor timers (x2), heat tape, washed gravel and biomix. Heat tape extends the time you can use the biobed by a couple weeks in the spring and fall. Biomix is composed of 50% by volume straw or wood chips, 25% peat or compost and 25% top soil.

You can access funding through CAP (Canadian Agricultural Partnership) under the Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change Producer Program – Agricultural Input and Waste Management. To be eligible for funding under this program, the applicant must be an active producer in Alberta with a current EFP certificate or letter of completion.

Biobeds are a relatively cheap and efficient system to treat pesticide rinsate. Research indicates these systems can remove up to 98% of the total mass of pesticides applied to them.

To learn more about biobeds and this project in particular, visit our project page Incorporating Pesticide Rinsate Biobeds