Avoid destructive spray drift, check Sensitive Sites Registry

Farm Forum

PIERRE – The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) reminds landowners, bee keepers, organic producers, pesticide applicators and others that the department’s Sensitive Site Registry website is a tool that can be used to help prevent the harmful effects from drift during pesticide or fertilizer applications. The South Dakota Sensitive Sites Registry can be found at

The interactive, web-based map allows commercial producers of pesticide sensitive crops and livestock to register their sensitive production areas. When a sensitive site producer registers a production area, an email is sent to each applicator who has registered a service area which includes that production location. This registry is designed to provide a simple way to inform pesticide applicators that your production area(s) is sensitive to pesticides and fertilizers and should be avoided. This site is not intended for homeowners.

Licensed commercial applicators are encouraged to register their service areas. Certified private applicators are encouraged to register their production areas if, after looking at the map, they see that there is a sensitive site close enough to their production areas that drift might be a concern. If your GPS unit is compatible with the GPX format, applicators can download a GPS file with the outline of all sensitive sites (including apiary) in your service area.

“The registry allows producers of crops such as vineyards and organic production areas that are sensitive to pesticides to register by entering their contact information, field data and crops grown,” said Tom Gere, SDDA agronomy services manager. “Apiary sites are automatically included on the site through the Apiary Program. Applicators can register their service areas as well; this allows the applicator to be informed via email about whatever new or old sensitive sites are in the service area.” (**Download Gere audio**)

The map is also available for anyone to view South Dakota apiary locations, was well as other sensitive areas such as orchards and vineyards. Registry of gardens that are a half-acre in size or larger are allowed on the site this year because of the recent increase of pesticide drift incidences on gardens.

To register as a producer of sensitive crops/livestock select the “producer” button. If you would like help getting started, please review our Producer’s Overview Video. To register as a pesticide/fertilizer applicator, select the “applicator” button. If you would like help getting started, please review our Applicator’s Overview Video.

Some things to remember include:

• Anyone keeping bees in the state needs a beekeeper license. License applications are due before bringing bees into the state and must be submitted every year along with the required fees.

• Before placing and relocating apiaries, a landowner’s consent must be obtained. All apiary locations must be registered before use. The landowner’s name, phone number and description of the location should be sent to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture.

• The beekeeper’s identification number should be placed on the top box of at least one hive in each apiary and each location must also be posted with the beekeeper’s name or business name and phone number. Numbers and letters must be weatherproof and have minimum height and thickness requirements to ensure visibility upon approach.

For more information about SDDA’s Sensitive Sites Registry website, contact Gere at 605.773.4432.