Sustainability and Product Stewardship

Biobeds – environmental protection in agriculture

Phytobac®: Bayer supports research in biobeds

Bayer CropScience supports research in so called biobeds to make it easier for farmers to use pesticides without damaging the environment.

Today, pesticides are well controlled. We know their time of degradation, and they are used in approved concentrations. However, problems can arise when the farmer fills and cleans his sprayer. Spill will result in point pollution. In such cases, a so-called biobed that uses nature’s own method of degradation can prevent a point pollution of the environment.


What is a biobed?

A biobed is a place where pesticide residues arising from agricultural pesticide handling activities are degraded. A biobed is a container which contains a mixture of materials in which microorganisms can work. Originally, biobeds are a Swedish invention and in the first biobeds, the bottom was sealed with a layer of clay and filled with a mixture of 25 % soil, 50 % straw and 25 % sphagnum. Today, different experiments are conducted in relation to the composition of biobeds. Biobeds are placed where the plant protection products are handled, and the purpose is to minimize the risk of pollution when filling and cleaning the sprayer.

Biobeds can be designed in many ways

A biobed can be placed in a hole in the yard, and with a driving ramp across. It is suitable for placing the sprayer when it is either filled or parked.


A biobed can also be placed next to a washing area where the sprayer is filled, washed or parked when it is unwashed. All the wash water and rain water from the washing area is collected in a container or vaporized. The amount of water can be minimized if the washing area is a covered area.



Phytobac® is a registered trademark of Bayer CropScience and a certified biobed concept which is widely distributed in France today. The concept consists in giving farmers expert guidance from the planning stage to the establishment as well as guidance on how to use the system and an evaluation of it once it is operational.


Bayer launches new Danish R&D Project

A survey among farmers in France who use the Phytobac® system shows that the system is easy, convenient, environmentally friendly and cost effective to use. Furthermore, it helps to improve the image of the farming industry. In 2012 Bayer CropScience started a Danish research project with the aim of documenting if the Phytobac® system is as effective under Nordic conditions as it has turned out to be in France.


This is how a Phytobac® unit works



The principle sketch of a Hermex® Phytobac® unit where waste water with chemical residues is collected in the tank to the left. The injection of waste water to the microbiological substance in the container to the right can be controlled by means of humidity measurement. This ensures an optimal environment for the microorganisms. This part is covered by a roof, which prevents rain water from reaching the container, while it has open sides, so the wind increases the evaporation of water.




Last updated: December 12, 2017  Copyright © Bayer Nordic