Urgent Response P&S proposes added cost to Cattle Sales

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Oct 8, 2009
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The USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) has proposed an amendment to the rule requiring scale testing twice a year (“approximately” every six months), to the new proposal requiring the first test between January 1st & June 30th and the second test between July 1st & December 31st. While this does not amount to much difference, they are accepting comments on this issue until October 23rd, 2009.
We strongly urge you to send in your comments and to contact your county & state Weights & Measures officials and ask them to comment on this issue.

Comments must be referenced per the Federal Register as:
“P&SP, Required Scale Tests – August 24, 2009 page 42608”
Send Via Email to: [email protected]
Fax to: (202) 690-2173
Mail to: Tess Butler, GIPSA, USDA
1400 Independence Ave. SW Room 1643 S
Washington, DC 20260-3642

Talking points you may want to use:

Your state or county requires testing only once per year (or 2 yrs if applicable)
Cost to your local or state governing agency to perform 2 tests per year
Governing agencies don’t have the manpower, equipment or time to do testing twice a year; they sometimes struggle to test even once a year (or 2 yrs if applicable)
Cost to you the producer for additional testing
Technology and accuracy of scales have greatly improved from the time when this rule was written decades ago.
Many ranch scales are used only during one season of the year. A second test is wasteful & worthless.
Common sense: Let the counties & states decide how to best handle scale issues. Some ranch scales are hundreds of miles from the nearest governing agency. During these tough economic times, why are we adding costs to government & producers?

Now is the time to have your voice heard!


Well-known member
May 27, 2009
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I will not buy or sell on any scale that has not been inspected and certified corect within the last 6 months. However most scales I buy and sell off of, the owners of the scale is a participant as either a buyer or seller as well, so they do not want any inaccuracy in the scale anymore than I do, so they see the scales are inspected and certified regularly. It gets done more frequently than the twice a year mandatory certification. Ranch scales might be looked at differently, beings they are used once a year they should be inspected prior to use, and call it good.