What do I do with…?

Tractor and Rows of Crops

Farm Debris

What is Farm Debris? Farm debris is any discarded material that can accrue from the preparation, production, and/or distribution of farm products (crops, grains, fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, etc.).

Why is it a problem? Fertilizer and pesticide runoff is a major issue that harms lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans. Such chemicals cause an imbalance in the natural flow of ecosystems creating toxic conditions in wildlife habitat. Significant amounts of organic and inorganic debris can be generated during production, much of which is discarded as waste and sent to landfill.

Examples: plastic drip tape, produce packaging (clamshells, bags, etc), reemay, cardboard, black plastic sheeting, baling twine, clippings, crop starter trays, fertilizer, fertilizer and nutrient containers, egg cartons, feed bags, tools, machinery, animal feed


  • Purchase supplies in bulk and look for brands that support less packaging

  • Limit your use of reemay, black plastic sheeting, and other geotextiles made from polypropylene or polyester

  • Consider organic farming or reducing the amount of fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides used

  • Purchase compostable containers for produce sales to reduce use of plastic containers


  • Reuse bulk containers

  • Baling twine and drip tape have many uses – don’t just throw it away, get creative!

  • Borrow from your fellow farmers – chances are they have materials, machinery, or tools that could be shared

  • Feed bags are durable and great for reusing as tarps, coverings, etc.

  • Ask customers to save and collect their egg cartons to return back

  • Repair broken tools or buy used ones instead of buying new

  • Call your local electric company to see if they give out free wood chips


  • Compost unwanted food and yard clippings

  • There are plenty of local distilleries and breweries that give away free leftover grains that can be used for animal feed:

  • Most grocery stores put out unused veggie scraps for farmers to pick up for free to use as animal feed

  • USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service has a field poly tubing and drip tape recycling program.


Draught Works
915 Toole Ave
(406) 541-1592

Good Food Store
1600 S. 3rd St. West
(406) 541-3663

Montgomery Distillery
129 West Front Street
(406) 926-1725

Natural Grocers
2530 South 3rd Street W
(406) 728-2100