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  • Writer's pictureMark Beaven

Agricultural Disinfection in Freezing Conditions: Strategies for Winter Success

As winter approaches the Canadian landscape, agricultural operations face unique challenges when it comes to maintaining a safe and healthy environment.

Cold winter days bring a challenge for the outdoor application of liquid disinfectants due to the fact that most disinfectant products are aqueous and freeze around 0°, and therefore requires farmers to adapt their practices to safeguard crops, livestock, and equipment.

In this blog, we will explore the impact of freezing conditions on agricultural disinfection practices and discuss innovative solutions, such as using Propylene Glycol and the advantages of Prevail™ Disinfectants for maintaining a sanitary environment in the winter.

The Effect of Freezing Conditions on Disinfection

Freezing temperatures can significantly affect the efficiency of disinfection on farms. Colder temperatures decrease the rate of disinfectants, meaning that they will be less effective in killing harmful microorganisms at their regular contact time. As such, specialized protocols are required to lower the risk of disease transmission, reduced crop yields, and compromised livestock health.

Propylene Glycol: A Solution to Prevent Freezing

To combat the challenges posed by freezing conditions, adding Propylene Glycol to your disinfectant mixture maybe an effective solution, if approved by your disinfectant manufacturer. Propylene Glycol is a non-toxic, food-grade substance commonly

used in various applications, including as an antifreeze agent. When added to disinfectants, it can help lower the freezing point, preventing the solution from solidifying in cold weather.

Advantages of Using Propylene Glycol:

  • Achieve required contact time: The addition of Propylene Glycol ensures that the disinfectant remains in a liquid state, ensuring required contact time is achieved with the surface you want to disinfect.

  • Reduced Wastage: Propylene Glycol prevents the solution from freezing and crystallizing, reducing waste and ensuring that every drop of disinfectant serves its purpose.

  • Protect your investment: While Propylene Glycol may add some expense to your disinfection process, it is a cost-effective investment considering the potential losses that can result from ineffective disinfection during freezing conditions.

Prevail™ Disinfectants: An Effective Solution for Winter Biosecurity

Prevail™ is an advanced disinfectant solution that offers numerous advantages for agricultural disinfection during the winter season.

Advantages of Using Prevail™ Disinfectants in the Winter Season:

Prevail’s relatively short contact time when compared to other disinfectant technologies is advantageous for efficacy in freezing temperatures. As colder temperatures require extension of contact time, it is advantageous to start with a product such as Prevail™ that already works twice as fast as other commonly-used disinfectants. The Cold Weather Protocols for Prevail™ can be found here.

In addition, to this testing, researchers with Iowa State University were able to demonstrate the efficacy of Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (the technology that powers Prevail™) in freezing conditions against PED virus. This groundbreaking study (found here) clearly shows that AHP® was able to kill the PED virus in a heavy fecal load, even under freezing conditions.

Agricultural disinfection in freezing conditions during the winter is essential for maintaining a safe and healthy environment for both crops and livestock. By understanding the impact of cold temperatures on disinfection practices and implementing solutions like adding propylene glycol to prevent freezing, as well as using products like Prevail™ Disinfectants, farmers can effectively combat the challenges posed by winter and ensure the well-being and productivity of their agricultural ventures. In this way, they can successfully adapt to the changing seasons and continue to provide for their communities year-round.


It is essential to exercise caution and adhere to the manufacturer's instructions when using disinfectants. Do not add propylene glycol to disinfectants unless approved by the disinfectant manufacturers.

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