After more than five years of deliberation, including an extended period for comments from stakeholders, the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) final amended regulations take effect Friday, September 20, 2013.The USDA initially provided notice of proposed rulemaking related to the weighing of livestock and feed on February 11, 2008. The extended comment period for the proposed rules ended on May 21, 2008 after 33 comments were submitted. The final amended regulations were published in the Federal Register on August 21, 2013.
The amended regulations impose additional requirements on payments by live poultry dealers and swine contractors to poultry and swine production contract growers; these requirements are based on weighing of inputs and/or outputs. In addition, swine contractors are now subject to the reweighing and care and promptness regulations.
GIPSA has taken the position that these new requirements will ensure the fair and accurate weighing of feed, poultry and livestock. GIPSA believes the amended regulations will reduce the potential for live poultry dealers and swine contractors to engage in unfair and deceptive practices by delaying the weighing of livestock, incorrectly or inaccurately using scales, or denying requests for reweighing.
What are GIPSA Regulations?
GIPSA is authorized to issue regulations necessary to carry out and enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 (P&S Act), as amended and supplemented. GIPSA's publication of P&S Act rules in the publicly available Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations is intended to give all members of the swine and poultry industries clear direction about what is needed for compliance. Each violation of the P&S Act can garner a fine of up to $11,000 as well as additional enforcement action by GIPSA.
Which GIPSA Regulations were Amended?
The following GIPSA Regulations have been amended:
- § 201.49 - Requirements regarding scale tickets evidencing weighing of livestock, live poultry and feed
- § 201.76 - Reweighing
- § 201.82 - Care and promptness in weighing and handling livestock and live poultry
- § 201.108-1 - Instructions for weighing live poultry
How Does This Impact You?
Feed Manufactures and Dealers
Feed manufactures and dealers that grind, mix and/or deliver feed, weigh livestock or provide trucking services to swine and poultry growers, integrators or processors may need to alter the information contained on scale tickets and modify their procedures for weighing feed and livestock. These altered processes and documents will help customers comply with the amended GIPSA regulations.
If a customer uses weights of livestock or feed as a factor in determining payment or settlement to a livestock producer or poultry grower, the scale ticket or other basic transaction record must now show the following additional items:
- The city, state and the identity of the scale (if the location has more than one scale) used to weigh feed.
- A zero balance for both the gross weight and tare weight.
- The date and time the zero balance was determined.
- When using a vehicle scale to weigh feed for more than one producer or grower on the same multi-compartment truck, the preceding producer's or grower's gross weight can be used for the next producer's or grower's tare weight without printing a zero balance, and repeated until the unit is full.
In addition, when weighing feed, the certified scale must register a zero balance prior to beginning the weighing process. Typically, one zero balance documented on a scale ticket along with the tare and gross weight for the grower or truckload is sufficient. If the truck is moved from one scale to another to complete the weighing process, a separate zero balance must be recorded for the tare and gross weights. Once the scale registers a zero balance, a truck/trailer may be driven onto the scale to obtain the tare or gross weights of the truck/trailer and load.