Crop Residue Disposal Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

  1. Why do farmers burn their fields each year in the summer?
  2. How does the CRD team manage field burning and agricultural smoke?
  3. How do farmers prevent field burning from becoming a hazard during the dry summer months?
  4. I would like to make a complaint. What do I do and what information do I need to give?
  5. What happens to my complaint once it is made?
  6. How can I find out if there is field burning in my area?
  7. Does the CRD Program care about the complaints it receives?
  8. Where can I go to find out more about agricultural burning in Idaho and the Northwest?
  9. Where can I find out about forest fires in my area?
 

Idaho Grower FAQ's

  1. I need to burn my crop residue. Where do I start?
  2. Where can I get a registration form?
  3. How much does it cost to register and burn my fields?
  4. Where does the money from registration fees go ?
  5. What happens when an allegation of illegal burning is made?
  6. What are the penalties for burning illegally?
  7. I've registered all of my fields. Now what do I do?


General FAQ's

1) Q: Why do farmers burn their fields each year in the summer?

A: Fire is a tool for the production and cultivation of certain crops. It is used to minimize pests and weeds, to remove residue after harvest, and to prepare the field for the next growing season. When used as a management tool for growing certain crops, such as bluegrass seed, it rejuvenates the plant and helps it grow healthy and strong.

 

2) Q: How does the CRD Program manage field burning and agricultural smoke?

A: The CRD Program in Idaho is comprised of members of the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environmental Quality, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, and the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho . Each day, the team reviews weather conditions, current air quality, and the location of possible field burns to determine whether or not burning will occur. A local coordinator is on site or nearby for each field burn to track the smoke, monitor weather conditions, and make sure the grower is burning correctly.

 

3) Q: How do farmers prevent field burning from becoming a fire hazard in the dry summer months?

A: In order to burn their fields, farmers must obtain a permit from the Idaho Department of Lands and/or their local fire department. These agencies are made aware of any burn activity in their area. Precautions associated with burning are required, such as: an ample supply of water and/or other fire suppression equipment must be present (generally a 1000+ gallon water truck is present, depending on the size of the field being burned), an adequate number of trained crew members on site to supervise the burn and in the case of fields near roadways, growers are required by law to provide flaggers to insure the safety of those traveling through the area.

 

4) Q: I would like to make a CRD complaint. What do I do and what information do I need to give?

A: If you have reason to believe that the smoke in your area is due to field burning, please call the CRD hotline at 1-800-345-1007 or send us an email. When making a complaint, the more information you can give us, the better able we will be to use your complaint for analysis of smoke movement and investigation of illegal burns. If you would like us to get in touch with you regarding your complaint, or if your complaint requires any follow up (such as allegations about illegal burning) you MUST leave your contact information. We will not return calls to or investigate anonymous complaints.

 

5) Q: What happens to my complaint once it is made?

A: Depending on the content of your complaint, the CRD Program personnel can take different actions:

Complaints regarding air quality and smoke incursions are used to analyze smoke movement and the conditions which caused the smoke to impact certain areas. This information will be used to help prevent such occurrences from happening again. The more specific information you can leave, the better we are able to use your complaint.

Complaints alleging illegal burn activities outside of Indian reservations will be investigated by the Department. On reservation burns will be investigated by the appropriate tribe. We cannot investigate anonymous complaints, so be sure to answer all the required questions. After we receive your complaint, a local coordinator will contact you to obtain the specifics of the alleged burn. Once we have the necessary information, the investigator will attempt to locate the field or grower in question and determine whether burning took place and whether the burning was in violation of the rules.

**If you would like your complaint to be followed up, you must leave all the required information

 

6) Q: Does the CRD Program care about the complaints it receives?

A: The program takes each complaint very seriously. The information will be used to help evaluate program performance. The more specific the complaint, such as the location of the field and time that the burn was observed, the more useful it is to the program members when evaluating smoke activity.

 

7) Q: How can I find out if there is field burning in my area?

A: There are several ways to find out if there will be field burning in your area. The toll-free hotline and this Idaho CRD Program website will have up-to-date information. You may also tune into KXLY ABC each day to hear the news for the daily burn forecast at 5:00-7:00a.m. PST, 6:00p.m. PST, and 11:00p.m. PST. You can also tune in to one of the following radio stations between 7:30 and 7:50a.m. Monday through Friday for that day's burn forecast: KAT Country 94FM, Oldies KEYF 101.1FM, or The Big Talker 1510AM.

 

8) Q: Where can I go to find out more about agricultural burning in Idaho and the Northwest?

A: Please see our Related Links section on the main menu. These links will take you to the websites of other states, agencies, and organizations involved with controlled burning and crop residue disposal.

 

9) Q: Where can I find out about forest fires in my area?

A: Please visit the National Interagency Fire Center website listed on the menu to the left.

 
 

Idaho Grower FAQ's

1) Q: I need to burn my crop residue. Where do I start?

A: You are required to register each field that you will burn. You must have paid any applicable registration fee to ISDA prior to taking any burn action. ($2 per acre in Boundary, Bonner, Shoshone, Kootenai, Benewah, Latah, Clearwater, Lewis, Nez Perce, and Idaho Counties). If you need help with this process, please call the toll-free grower hotline at 1-866-224-2456.

 

2) Q: Where can I get a registration form?

A: A registration form is available on-line from this website. You may also call the grower hotline at 1-866-224-2456 and a form can be be mailed or faxed to you. In some areas you can pick up a registration form at your local Department of Lands office or U of I extension office.

 

3) Q: How much does it cost to register and burn my fields?

A: The cost to register fields in the ten northern counties of Idaho (Boundary, Bonner, Shoshone, Kootenai, Benewah, Latah, Clearwater, Lewis, Nez Perce, and Idaho Counties, including any acreage located within the Nez Perce or Coeur d'Alene Indian reservations) is $2 per acre. This fee must be paid directly to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA).

 

4) Q: Where does the money from the registration fees go?

A: The money raised from registration fees provides necessary funding for the Idaho CRD Program.

 

5) Q: What happens when an allegation of illegal burning is made?

A: If the ISDA or Tribal authority receives an allegation of illegal burning, it will contact the grower in question as part of an investigation to determine if illegal activity did in fact occur. If the investigation determines that a field was burned illegally or any of the laws governing agricultural burning have been violated, legal action will be taken. For the penalties associated with illegal burning, please see below.

 

6) Q: What are the penalties for burning illegally?

A: Please refer to the following Idaho statute. Click here.

 

7) Q: I've registered all of my fields. Now what do I do?

A: Once you have submitted your registration form with applicable fees, there are a few remaining steps you must complete before you can ignite your field. These steps are outlined for you here.