Formaldehyde is defined as a colorless, flammable gas at room temperature with a very strong odor. It is produced as a byproduct of combustion and similar natural processes. Thus, it can be found in emissions from un-vented, fuel-burning appliances like gas stoves or kerosene space heaters. However, the most common source of formaldehyde you’ve probably encountered is cigarette smoke. Now, this doesn’t make formaldehyde very appealing, but it has proven to be beneficial for preservatives or as a disinfectant. However, let’s go a bit deeper and explore the agricultural applications of formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde has been proven to be an effective industrial disinfectant, and poultry farmers have taken note. In fact, formaldehyde is often used in the poultry industry in order to thoroughly sanitize and disinfect brooder houses, hatcheries, and hatchery vehicles. It is highly effective at eliminating bacteria and mold, ensuring that the poultry is safe from being afflicted by disease.
When dissolved in water, formaldehyde becomes formalin. This is helpful in caring for cows, as it allows farmers to create a footbath that keeps their cows hygienic by reducing the risk of common hoof diseases that commonly affect dairy cows.
Thanks to formaldehyde manufacturers, farmers have been able to incorporate formaldehyde into their fertilizer and improve the overall quality of their soil. Fertilizer that incorporates formaldehyde slowly releases nitrogen over time, which is necessary for plant growth, allowing for faster germination and thus greater growth in crops. Furthermore, formaldehyde concentrates have been used in fertilizer to protect plants and control afflictions such as potato disease.
In addition to being an effective disinfectant, some agricultural applications for formaldehyde include incorporating it into pesticides to eliminate plagues of insects that would otherwise destroy crops. Furthermore, much like how efficiently formaldehyde eliminates mold, formaldehyde pesticides are effective at eradicating invasive fungi trying to take hold on your farm. What makes formaldehyde a truly useful fungicide, however, is that it is capable of effectively eliminating fungi spores so they don’t have a chance to spread and regrow.