Healthy Farm and Agriculture Hygiene Practices

Agriculture hygiene helps to protect livestock and crops from pests and disease, including insects, parasites, pathogens, and weeds. Therefore, agriculture hygiene aims to minimize the introduction and spread of pests in the farm environment.  


Entry and exist routes from buildings and a property have the potential to bring and take away disease causing organisms. Establishing a controlled access zone, which is a transitional space to reduce contamination between the farm perimeter and where livestock, feed and crops are housed, may help keep unwanted organisms out.  

  • A farm may want to require that all organic material be cleaned from boots, clothing, equipment, and vehicles before entering this area. This helps reduce and eliminate the spread of unwanted pests to the farm. 
  • A physical line or object such as a bench, dividing dirty from clean may serve as an easy reminder to stop and check for organic material. Leave dirty footwear and clothing behind and wash contaminated skin before crossing to the clean side.  

Basic Cleaning/Disinfection 

Basic cleaning practices are intended to stop the spread of unwanted pests. Removing organic material such as dirt, feed and manure is the first step in the sanitation process, whether you are cleaning boots, floors, buckets, water troughs, equipment or vehicles. 

  • Cleaning - Removes germs and dirt from surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers the risk of spreading infection.  
  • Sanitizing– This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection. 
  • Disinfecting - Kills germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. 

Cleaning should be done before disinfecting as cleaning can remove up to 90% of infectious agents. Cleaning improves the effectiveness of disinfectants.  

Farm & agriculture hygiene should be part of everyday farm procedures. Farm hygiene does not have to be complicated or get in the way of work but it should be taught as a best practice for everyone working on the farm.  

Whether you’re part of a large commercial enterprise or keep farm animals as a hobby, using a line of separation will help protect animal health and crops. Determining where the line of separation is will help with creating a cleaning/disinfecting procedure for you and all employees.  

Contact a Rural Mutual agent to discuss the best agriculture and farm insurance that fits your needs.