Pesticides and water bodies research focus of talk at AAAF In-Service Training

A researcher from the University of Manitoba is touting the work her students are doing in finding the different way pesticides can inadvertently make their way into rivers and wetlands.

In December, she was sharing the findings with the Association of Alberta Agricultural Fieldmen at their annual In-Service Training event.

Annemieke Farenhorst is the Associate Dean of Research at the Faculty of Agricultural and Agri-food sciences at the University of Manitoba.

She says they are taking a closer look at a number of different ways pesticides find their way where they shouldn’t be.

“It can be a variety of ways, spray drift, evaporation of pesticides into the atmosphere and subsequent precipitation, sometimes snowmelt runoff and so forth, Farenhorst said.

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“So I think in terms of the application, people do not necessarily intend to apply it on purpose near the water.”

She says there is a fascinating new area of research on the use of bio-beds that starting up here in Canada.

“Bio-beds is when pesticides are applied, and the tank needs to be rinsed. You put the rinsate into the bio-beds, and the bio-beds are designed to function on farms for farmers or can also be used by municipalities.

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The intention then is for the pesticide residues to break down much quicker in the bio-beds and the leachates, so the water that filtrates through the bio-beds comes out quite clean compared to the rinsate that went into the bio-bed itself.”

For more on Farenhorst’s research, click here.