Frequently Asked Questions | South Dakota Department of Agriculture

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click a link below for answers to South Dakota Department of Agriculture frequently asked questions. As always, you may contact us via phone or email at any time.

Forestry and Conservation

Q. Where can I get trees for a shelterbelt? 

A. Trees for windbreak plantings can be ordered by private individuals through their local conservation districts. Prior to ordering, a tree planting plan should be developed that considers species diversity and design elements that achieve the windbreak objectives of the landowner. Windbreak planning needs to be done and the tree plans submitted to the conservation districts. This needs to occur prior to November of the year prior to planting for tree ordering purposes. In so doing, conservation districts can guarantee tree orders from area tree nurseries for shipment the following spring. Tree planting assistance is provided free of charge by service foresters from the Resource Conservation & Forestry Division of the SD Department of Agriculture.

Q. How do I care for a Real Christmas Tree?

A. Caring for your Real Christmas Tree

Q. How do I get a Christmas tree permit?

A. All requests for a Christmas tree permit must be requested from the U.S. Forest Service district offices. Call the district office closest to your area.
Custer Office - (605) 673-4853
Deadwood Office - (605) 578-2744
Harney Office - (605) 574-2534
Pactola (Rapid City) Office - (605) 343-1567
Spearfish Office - (605) 642-4622

Q. How do I contact my local conservation district?

A. The entire state of South Dakota is included in a conservation district. Most conservation districts follow county lines, with only a few exceptions. Click here to visit the South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts site where you will find a map of South Dakota with each of the conservation districts outlined. Simply click inside the appropriate district to be taken to that district's website with contact information including mailing address, office phone number and a list of the district supervisors and employees.


Q. Where can I find information on grants that are available?

A. The Department has several grants that are available.

In addition, we keep a listing of grants from other agencies. You can find that information on our grants page


Q: What can I do with waste (unusable) pesticides? 

A: Waste (unusable) pesticides can be pesticides without labels, damaged pesticides (winter damaged, flood damaged, etc.), canceled or suspended pesticides, or a pesticide in a container that is in poor condition. Sign these products up for our free waste (unusable) pesticide disposal program. The product(s) must be preregistered with the department prior to the fall collection to be considered for the program. Find out what happens to waste (unusable) pesticides and how to reduce pesticide waste.

Q: What do I need to know about bulk pesticide repackaging?

A: Review the questions and answers about bulk pesticide repackaging. Also review the bulk pesticide repacking management checklist and the bulk pesticide repackaging paperwork checklist for a quick overview.

Wildland Fire

Q. What is the Wildland Urban Interface? 

A. There are several definitions as well as names for the interface area. Generally speaking it's the line, area or zone where structures and other human development meet or intermingle with undeveloped wildland or vegetative fuels (National Wildfire Coordinating Group definition).

Q. Where can I learn more about Wildland Urban Interface and how I can safeguard my home? 

A. Learn about Wildland Urban Interface here.

Q. When are burn permits available?

A. Learn more about burn permits here.

Q. Where can a burn barrel and outdoor fire place permit be acquired? 

A. Burn barrel and outdoor fireplace permits can be acquired through the Fire Management Officer for the county the burn barrel and / or outdoor fire place will be used in.

  • Lawrence County: Tim Eggers – 605.584.2300 
  • Meade & Pennington County: Ray Bubb – 605.394.2582 
  • Custer & Fall River County: Les Madsen – 605.745.5820

Q. What are the requirements for an outdoor fireplace? 
A. Here is a description of outdoor fireplace regulations and a diagram.

Q. What are the requirements for a burn barrel?
A. Here is a description of burn barrel regulations and a diagram.