KDA Weights and Measures Program to Step Up Grain Moisture Meter Testing

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On Monday, October 26th, Doug Musick, manager of the Weights and Measures program at the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) called KGFA staff to discuss the department’s testing program for grain moisture meters.

Musick stated that the department had recently received complaints from producers about moisture meters that were thought to be inaccurate.

Kansas weights and measures law requires the KDA to assure that any meter or other device, which is used in commercial service, is suitable for its intended purpose, accurate, and properly maintained.

When a moisture meter is used to calibrate the moisture level in grain from which a price discount is derived for the purchase of that grain, then the meter is being used for a commercial purpose. Under Kansas law, commercial metering devices must be tested at least annually.

The department asked KGFA to remind members that every grain moisture meter used in commercial service in Kansas is required to be tested/calibrated annually by a moisture meter testing service company. Moisture meters have a 0.6% tolerance. This testing standard is set forth in the 1994 version of the NTEP manual (National Type Evaluation Program).

Most large vehicle scale testing companies are able to provide moisture meter calibration services, and will generally schedule the moisture meter calibration services for the same time that they are on site to perform annual testing on a facility’s large vehicle scales. The cost to perform a moisture meter test may vary from company to company and may depend on the drive time for the testing company.

Please be advised that, beginning this next year, when KDA’s scale inspectors are at a facility to perform large vehicle scale inspections, they will also ask to review the most recent calibration test for the facility’s moisture meter(s) to ensure that the moisture meter has been tested/calibrated by a scale testing company within the previous twelve months and that it is properly calibrated.

If the moisture meter has not been tested within the previous 12 months, KDA will issue the facility a Notice of Non-Compliance (NONC). The NONC serves as official notice to the facility that it is in violation of Kansas law. The NONC will direct the facility to have their moisture meter calibrated within 30 days. The NONC will be filed at KDA and will become a part of the facility’s enforcement record.