SPARKS, Nev. – Livestock scales inspections by the Nevada
Department of Agriculture (NDA) will start in mid-May and go through the third
week in August of 2015.
“NDA is changing to
an annual billing system for scales inspections. Fees paid for inspections will
be billed through the mail and not at the time of the inspection," said
Bart O’Toole, administrator of NDA’s Division of Consumer Equitability, which
oversees weights and measures programs for the state.
Annual licensing fees are due in August, and scale owners
should not wait for inspectors to arrive for an inspection to pay the fee.
NDA tests livestock scales throughout the state each year.
“By moving inspections to later in the year, producers will
have a better window to video sale due to the more stringent, eight month prior
to sale of livestock, recertification criteria," O’Toole said. “By testing
livestock scales, we ensure ranch owners and scale owners are getting accurate
readings. A scale out of tolerance could result in the loss of profit of
hundreds of dollars.
“When sending livestock to market, the price tag for the
animal is determined by the pound. If a scale is running light, you could be
giving livestock away because every pound counts,” O’Toole added. “The more out
of tolerance the scale, the more money the owner is losing.”
By testing the livestock scales every year, NDA makes sure
ranchers are getting the profit they deserve.
On average, NDA inspectors issue repair tags for about 25 to
30 percent of scales tested.
Typically a blue tag is issued rather than a red tag to give
the owner more time to fix the problem. When a blue tag is issued, owners have
30 days to repair minor issues. A red tag is issued when major issues are
discovered and need to be repaired immediately. If a scale is tagged it will
need to be repaired by a Registered Service Agent/Scale Mechanic before NDA
inspectors return for a recheck.
To help prepare ranch/scale owners, NDA has created a
checklist to ensure their scale is ready to be inspected. The inspection typically
takes about an hour to complete.
See checklist below:
Mandatory: These items will be an automatic tag/failure
if not addressed before we arrive.
Deck: Needs to be clean and free of
debris so we can see the condition of the deck boards/scale surface. We will not drive the skid steer onto a deck
that is in a weakened condition. If we cannot see your scale deck we will not
put our skid steer on your scale.
Ramps: Approach ramps must be level and
constructed with solid fill material.
Ramps must be smooth to prevent excessive rocking and bouncing of skid
steer when it is accessing your scale.
If your scale has three inches, or more, of a difference in height
between the scale deck and the ramp we will not be able to get onto the scale
safely. Metal frame work and rubber mats
at the entrance to the scale can be slick and may prevent us from getting onto
your scale. Scale ramps need to be
installed prior to our arrival.
Box: This needs to be clean so we can
operate and zero the scale. There can be
no wasps, bees, spiders, or rodent nests of any kind. Make sure slide mechanisms move freely.
- Corrals: NO livestock where we need to access the
scale. It is not our responsibility to
move your animals.
- Alleyways: They need to be clear for access with our
skid steer. There should be nothing
piled in the way. No panels, no pallets, no fencing material, no water/feed
tubs, no hoses, no tools and no animals.
All weeds and vegetation that obstruct our view of the ground need to be
- Gates: Open or easily opened.
Scales: Digital units must be fully
charged or a power supply provided.
Weights & Measures will not provide power for your equipment.
Recommended: Many scales fail because they are dirty. It is in your best interested to make sure
your scale is its best condition. Remember,
scale rechecks are costly.
Edges: They need to be clean of rocks,
dirt, sticks, dried animal waste, etc. so the scale deck moves without
binding. A bound up scale will not weigh
Scale Deck: This needs to be clean so
there is nothing clogging the scale mechanisms or causing the scale to hang
up. Be sure to clean the beams and rails
under the scale deck. Dirt and animal
waste build up and rodent nests need to be cleaned out.
Frame: Nothing tied to the scale and
nothing leaning against the scale. Do
not forget to check overhead, as well.
No panels, no pallets, no fencing material, no water/feed tubs,
etc. Items tied to the scale frame can
cause erroneous scale readings.
or Scale Owner Representative Present or Readily Available: With the costs associated with a revisit it
is recommended that a representative be present or readily available. This is
particularly advantageous if the scale is geography separated from the ranch
information about why NDA checks livestock scales, watch our video http://bit.ly/1xTDslK.