Using Scales to Weigh Industrial Hemp

Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It is one of the fastest growing plants and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago, according to Wikipedia

Below are a few popular questions and answers regarding industrial hemp. You can see the complete question and answer article by viewing the state website.

What kind of plant is industrial hemp?
Industrial hemp is a small seeded, dicot, dioecious, photoperiodic plant. This means that it is a broadleaf and not a grass. There are male and female plants. The plants flower based on a day length trigger.

These plant characteristics will present production and cultivation challenges for North Carolina. The small seed is very sensitive to planting depth, and establishing an acceptable stand will require close attention to a shallow planting depth, firm seedbed and avoiding flooding conditions. The seedling is also small and not very competitive with weeds until the crop is established and canopy closure occurs. There are no labeled pesticides for use on industrial hemp at this time.

How is industrial hemp cultivated?
Industrial hemp is generally grown for; seed, fiber, or floral materials. Each is produced is in a slightly different way. For seed production, plants would generally be seeded at a high plant population similar to a small grain crop. Reported seeding rates are 25 to 40 pounds of seed per acre planted with a grain drill. For fiber, high seeding rates are generally recommended. The reason for high seeding rates and plant population is to limit lateral branching and facilitate harvest. Production of floral materials varies widely from greenhouse production to wider row spacings, which would resemble tobacco or horticultural crop production. Floral buds are harvested, so production systems that promote lateral branching and more numerous flowers per plant would be desirable. Harvesting methods vary.

What are the market opportunities for industrial hemp?
Similar to the limited research for production, little information exists at this time for the market opportunities to potential North Carolina growers. Growers are urged to proceed with caution and closely examine potential market opportunities.

What is hemp used for?
Hemp fibers have been used to manufacture hundreds of products that include fiber for injected/molded composite materials, twine, paper, construction materials, carpeting, clothing, and animal bedding.

Seeds have been used in making industrial oils, cosmetics and other personal care products, and medicines. Hemp seed or oil can be found in cooking oil, salad dressings, pasta, and snack products. 

Can I grow hemp in my backyard?
No. Under state and federal laws, industrial hemp growers must be issued a license to participate in the industrial hemp pilot program. The Industrial Hemp Commission is responsible for developing rules and regulations for participating in the program.

What is the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana?
Marijuana and industrial hemp are different varieties of the same plant species, Cannabis sativa L. Marijuana typically contains 3 to 15 percent THC on a dry-weight basis, while industrial hemp contains less than 1 percent (Blade, 1998; Vantreese, 1998). Most developed countries that permit hemp cultivation require use of varieties with less than 0.3 percent THC. 

Industrial hemp can be grown as a fiber and/or seed crop. Grown for fiber, it is planted in dense stands to maximize stalk production. Grown for seed or for seed and fiber, plants are spaced farther apart to encourage branching and seed production. Marijuana varieties are grown for their leaves and flower buds, and therefore are grown under low-density conditions to maximize branching. 

Authorized research purposes
As part of the industrial hemp research program directly managed by a State land grant
university, a licensed grower may engage in any of the following research activities:

(1) Studying and investigating marketplace opportunities for hemp products to
increase the job base in the State by means of employment related to the
production of industrial hemp.

(2) Studying and investigating methods of industrial hemp cultivation that are best
suited to soil conservation and restoration.

(3) Overseeing and analyzing the growth of industrial hemp by licensed growers
for agronomy research and analysis of required soils, growing conditions, and
harvest methods relating to the production of various varieties of industrial
hemp that may be suitable for various commercial hemp products.

(4) Conducting seed research on various types of industrial hemp that are best
suited to be grown in North Carolina, including seed availability, creation of
North Carolina hybrid types, and in-the-ground variety trials and seed
production. The Commission may establish a program to recognize certain
industrial hemp seeds as being North Carolina varieties of hemp seed.

(5) Studying the economic feasibility of developing an industrial hemp market in
various types of industrial hemp that can be grown in the State, including by
commercial marketing and sale of industrial hemp.

(6) Reporting on the estimated value-added benefits, including environmental
benefits, to North Carolina businesses of an industrial hemp market of North
Carolina-grown industrial hemp varieties.

(7) Studying the agronomy research being conducted worldwide relating to
industrial hemp varieties, production, and use.

(8) Researching and promoting on the world market industrial hemp and hemp seed
that can be grown in the State.

(9) Promoting research into the development of industrial hemp and commercial
markets for North Carolina industrial hemp and hemp products.

(10) Studying the feasibility of attracting federal or private funding for the North
Carolina industrial hemp research program.

(11) Studying the use of industrial hemp in new energy technologies, including
electricity generation, biofuels, or other forms of energy resources; the growth
of industrial hemp on reclaimed mine sites; the use of hemp seed oil in the
production of fuels; and the production costs, environmental issues, and costs
and benefits involved with the use of industrial hemp for energy.

ntep legal for trade platform scales

So you may be asking, what interest does CCS have in this product? Turns out, we have had numerous farmers contact us looking for weight scales used in the harvesting of industrial hemp in central North Carolina. Contact us today (919) 776-7737 and let us help you be more efficient and accurate in your processing. 

Benefits of Cardinal Digital Truck Scales

Cardinal Armor series Smartcell digital truck scales have several distinct benefits to you, the customer. First there is the heavy duty weighbridge design the Cardinal Armor digital truck scale uses. For example, the steel deck has (12) 12 inch eye beams across the scale but most important is there’s no moving parts under the scale.

ADVANTAGES OF A DIGITAL TRUCK SCALE

With a traditional truck scale, when it comes to debris build-up under the scale, that you typically see in landfills, quarries, sand and gravel businesses; all of that debris can cause problems under the scale and cause binding. Then you will be forced to have folks out there power washing the truck scale, trying to get the scale to work properly because safe linkage systems or load cells that are mounted to piers; the debris impedes on that critical weighing process.

This can often lead to down time for cleaning and can also lead to your scale being rejected when being tested by the State weights and measures inspector.

Another key element of the Cardinal Armor digital truck scale is simple connections which can also lead to limited downtime. Most important there is no power running to the scale other than the home run cable, that’s very important. Do you know what lightning, rain, and snow can do over time to the junction boxes of a traditional truck scale? There’s over a hundred and eight connection points in many standard analog truck scales.

digital truck scales

But, with the armor digital system, there’s ten. There’s five wires that plug into the terminal connector to go to the first load cell and there’s five that you simply wire into the weight indicator in fact Cardinal chooses 225 and the 825 as indicators of choice but most important for you; you want limited downtime for the life of the truck scale. Continue reading

Are You Paying For Your Frozen Yogurt Cup too?

Believe it or not, spring and summer will be here before you know it and we’ll all be looking to cool down at a frozen yogurt shop.Today, many of these frozen yogurt shoppes allow the consumer to dispense as much frozen yogurt the customer wants. The yogurt is priced at around fifty cents per ounce. So if you want different flavors or a cup that is filled sky high you are able to do that. However, the real question is are you paying for just the yogurt and toppings that you consume or are you also paying for the cup that the yogurt is placed in?

Many yogurt shops determine price based on the weight of the yogurt and toppings, but they are required to subtract the weight of the cup or package first (which is called the tare weight). According to Jerry Butler, NCDA & CS Weight and Measures program manager, not every shop is aware of that. Butler heads a team of 24 inspectors whose job is to inspect scales in the state, and he guesses that they’ve inspected around a hundred or so yogurt shops so far. Of those, he estimates about 75 percent have not been using their scales properly. “Say you’re a family of four,” Butler says, “you could be paying up to a dollar extra just for the weight of the cups. So it’s important that the shops know how to use their scales.”

Now that the NCDA & CS inspectors have discovered that yogurt shops use scales, they’re keeping an eye out for them as they drive to other jobs. If they see a frozen yogurt shop while they’re out, they’ll step inside to inspect it. Most shops that have been violating are quick to correct their mistakes, which were usually made in ignorance, Butler says. A second offense would result in a notice of violation, and a third offender must pay a penalty of up to $5,000. So what can frozen yogurt eaters do to make sure they’re getting the most yogurt for their buck? “The bottom line is: the consumer needs to look and ask,” Butler says. “Make sure that the yogurt shop employee uses the tare. And if they’re not, the consumer needs to call me.”

Fortunately we have electronic scales available that make this process fairly easy to accommodate. Contact the sales staff today (919) 776-7737 and they will be happy to provide you prices for the scales that will work best to accommodate weighing frozen yogurt by the ounce and using the tare feature to subtract out the weight of the cup.

scale for weighing frozen yogurt by the ounce

We have standard legal for trade counter top scales. We have point of sale scales that can connect to your cash register. Finally, we have price computing scales that can display the weight and price on both the front of the scale and the back of the scale.

New ZQ375 Light Stack Available from Avery Weigh-Tronix

Avery Weigh-Tronix checkweighers feature stainless steel enclosures and are sealed up to IP69K, for washdown situations. These checkweighers are ideally suited for food and beverage applications, as well as pharmaceuticals, transportation and many others. With easy to use operator interfaces, users can clearly see the target level, speeding up operation without jeopardizing accuracy. These checkweighers offer multi-connectivity and can be can connected with existing data systems for automatic reporting.

Great News! Fully wash down compact light stack options ideal for the ZQ375 Checkweigher are now available!

That’s 3 extra light stack options that could be easily used on the current Avery Weigh-Tronix ZQ375 Checkweigher.

These new light stacks offer a more cost effective solution that can easy be installed to any new or existing ZM or ZQ375 Checkweigher indicator or indicator and base combination with no extra fabrication modifications required.

weigh-tronix checkweigh scale light stack

This new compact light stack easily mounts directly to the side of the indicator using the same side stud as uses to clamp the indicator to the column or stand with no extra fixings required. Ideal when the ZQ375 indicator needs to be mounted away from the weight platform.

These IP67 light stacks are available in 3 versions all with audible alarms
3 lights (red / green / yellow)
2 lights (red / Green)
1 light (red)

Avery Weigh-Tronix part numbers
AWT05-508943   IP67 side mounted compact (Red, Green, Yellow) light stack + audible alarm
AWT05-508944   IP67 side mounted compact (Red, Yellow) light stack + audible alarm
AWT05-508945   IP67 side mounted compact (Red) light stack + audible alarm

The Avery Weigh-Tronix ZQ375 series checkweighers are ideal heavy-washdown scales built to meet stringent food hygiene requirements. Certified by NSF to NSF/ANSI Standard 3-A, the ZQ375 Checkweigher has been specifically designed to meet the stringent hygiene requirements of the food processing industry. IP69K rated for heavy washdown environments.

The ZQ375 checkweigher features a highly visible, low power draw IBN display, which offers ease of viewing in all lighting conditions. Its large, nine segment digits and coloured multi-segmented under/overweight graph give the operator a fast visual indication of weight which is user friendly, yet highly accurate.

Plus with the optional light stack, scale operators can easily see when items are under weight, over weight or within tolerance.

This checkweigher is legal for trade, making it suitable for use in commercial applications where product is sold by weight. It is available in a range of sizes and capacities from 6lb to 500lbs (3kg to 200kg).

The ZQ375 Checkweigher provides you with the information you need through Wireless, USB or Ethernet to maximize performance and profitability.

Contact the sales team today at (919) 776-7737 or complete our online Request a Quote.

Why should I buy a scale that is “Legal-for-Trade” when I don’t intend to use it in a Commercial Weighing application?

There are a number of questions we get from time to time regarding legal for trade scales. Often, especially with floor scales we are asked “why should I buy a scale that is “Legal-for-Trade” when I don’t intend to use it in a commercial weighing setting”?

Defining a commercial weighing application can sometimes be a little tricky. Scales can be moved around and get used for things that maybe you didn’t originally intend.

Basically, an NTEP approved device is required any time money changes hands based on a scale’s reading. We sometimes call this legal for trade scales or we might call it NTEP certified equipment.

Freight scales, for example, must be NTEP approved. For these situations government requires that a scale must pass tests put forth by the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP). These regulations are meant to protect the consumer.

But if I were in the market for a scale, in most cases, I would want to choose a scale that was at least capable of passing NTEP testing and receiving an NTEP certificate.

If you think about it, we use a scale because we want to know an exact weight (as accurately as possible) and have trust in the information we view on the scale display.

NTEP approved floor scale

When selecting a scale to weigh your produce, or packages, would you choose one that’s been tested and approved by an independent third party as accurate, or would you rather have a scale that’s never been tested at all by an independent group?

NTEP Certified Commercial Scale

In most cases I would choose the scale that has been tested and received a conformance certificate.

Sure there are some markets and applications where NTEP certified scales are not really necessary. But when you’re comparing a legal for trade scale side by side with one that is non-ntep, ask yourself or your scale sales person a question. Could this non-ntep scale have earned a NTEP certificate of conformance?

If the answer is yes you may be ok with purchasing a non-ntep scale. The non ntep scale probably costs less, but is the scale accurate and stable as well?  How will you know for sure the scale is accurate? And if you need to replace it sooner than expected, how much money did you ultimately really save buying a non legal for trade scale?

If the sales person says no, the scale probably would not be capable of earning a certificate of conformance, that would cause me re-evaluate the product and my products that I’m looking to purchase.

Ultimately, it’s up to you the end user to decide what direction you want to to.

Continue reading

Wrestling Scale Certification

Each year customers at middle school, high schools, and colleges contact our scale company looking to purchase certified digital scales to use for their wrestling team or sometimes they just simply want to get their old scale checked and certified. Most of the time the process is pretty simple. However, occasionally the customer is not certain about what rules or regulations they need to follow to weigh a wrestler. So, before you purchase a scale or have one certified, it might be a good idea to check with your athletic conference or sanctioning body or perhaps you have some type of “rule book” to make certain what rules you need to follow. For example, one rule that we have been told is that some states require schools to use a NTEP legal for trade scale (with CoC#) for weighing wrestlers.

certified wrestling scaleWhen it comes to actually certifying the scales, it is usually a good idea to get your wrestling scale certified annually. Generally, when we calibrate and certify the scale we normally look over the scale and make sure it appears to be functioning correctly. If something appears broken or missing such as a leveling foot, we might mention that on the paperwork or even recommend you purchase a replacement. We make sure the display is working correctly and showing all the digits and decimal point correctly. We also like to make sure the platform is solid. Also, if your scale has a rechargeable battery inside you might want to try charging it up and using it a few days before your scale check up to make sure it’s Continue reading

Legal For Trade Price Computing Scales State Testing Info You Can Use

legal for trade price computing scaleEvery year dozens and dozens of our customers either purchase new retail scales or they have their current legal for trade scale calibrated or certified. These are typically scales they can use at places like the farmers market to sell their fruits and vegetables by the pound. Basically any device used where items are bought or sold by weight is typically required by most state’s laws to be inspected and certified. This would include a counter top scale at a farmer’s market (or mechanical hanging scale) that is used to weigh produce that customers want to buy. Of course, inspecting a retail scale is an advantage to both the farmer and the customer.

I’ve mentioned this in the past but if you are buying or selling your items based on weight, you want to make sure that you purchase a scale that has NTEP approval. The certificate of conformance or CoC# should be on the side of the scale. The article below is also a good resource.

Keep in mind that no device is perfect and must be adjusted periodically. It is also recommended that you do not buy cheap quality scales that will likely not last. There are regional inspectors located across the state that will coordinate with the marketer to complete the certification. The inspectors have a set of standard weights calibrated annually for correctness. They will use these weights to test the marketer’s scales. Once you scale has been inspected you need to recertify every two years.  If the scale is out of tolerance (deemed inaccurate) a scale repair service must fix the scale or a new unit must be purchased. Click here to read entire article. Continue reading

Do you carry any other type, that are less…

We were recently invited to provide a written quote on a 5’x5′ floor scale at a metal recycling center in North Carolina. When we sent the customer a quote for a quality set of floor scales, he replied back with the statement.

Do you carry any other type, that are less. In other words (brand x) scales are around 500.00 and I told (co-worker) that we could buy almost 3 for the price of 1 and if one breaks down we would have a back up.

Of course our first comment would be, it might be a good idea to buy two or three of them so you have a system that works! Seriously, if you’ve read any of our blog posts in the past, then you know our philosophy when it comes to floor scale systems. You can always find a set of scales at a cheaper price. Lets face it, in today’s world doesn’t that almost apply to just about any product? There is always somebody down the street willing to sell something a little cheaper. And often times if they can import a bunch of junk that has serious QC issues and sell them to unsuspecting customers who are simply looking to get a good deal, then that is what they will do.

That is why we focus on providing you a set of platform scales that we have confidence in.  The other note worth mentioning is the scale he was “comparing” our scale to wasn’t even legal for trade. The main point of this entry is, give us a call or send us an email and we can provide you with a quote for a weighing scale that we feel will meet your needs. If you have a budgeted price in mind, be sure to let us know that too. Often times when something costs a lot less than other similar products, there is a reason.

Announcement On Rice Lake OTR Above Ground Truck Scale

OTR Truck Scale

OTR Truck Scale

Rice Lake Weighing Systems was recently granted an amendment to its NTEP Certificate of Conformance for the SURVIVOR OTR Series of above ground truck scales. The amendment reduces the scale’s minimum division value (emin) from the industry standard 20 pounds to 10 pounds, making the SURVIVOR OTR suitable for not only vehicle weighing, but high-dollar applications such as livestock and scrap-metal weighing.
The improved resolution is essential where valuable commodities are being weighed and Rice Lake’s truck scales now offer a competitive advantage in those cases.

The new certification applies to Rice Lake’s entire OTR Series, including steel and concrete decks and pit or pitless grain dump models, in standard widths up to 16.5 feet and standard lengths up to 160 feet. The SURVIVOR OTR is also now available with racks and gates for livestock containment needs.

Ways To Avoid Airline Baggage Fees

These days everyone is looking to cut costs and find ways to raise additional revenue. One way the airlines can do this is by charging customers an additional fee if their bags weigh more than a certain weight. Unfortunately, many passengers have no real accurate way to measure the weight of their bag until they get to the airport. However, a standard bathroom scale can usually give you a pretty good idea if your bag is going to be close to the maximum weight. The WRAL video and link provide additional information on this story.

During the last inspection in March, Butler’s team check almost 100 scales. Thirteen failed inspection – one was 2 whole pounds off. The previous year, Butler said, ten scales had problems.

With overweight baggage fees topping out around $200, a scale’s accuracy could mean the difference between a hassle-free flight and a costly mess-up.

Butler said Burke has the right idea by weighing her luggage at home. He said anyone who believes their bag is underweight should ask to use a second scale if the bag comes up over.

“Just ask them. There are two scales side by side. If you’re over 50 pounds on that scale, ask them, ‘Do you mind checking on another scale?'” he said. “It’s your right to know because it’s big money. It’s big money.”

A couple of points that were made in this video are worth repeating. As a passenger, make sure when you place your luggage onto the weighing platform that the scale display shows 0.00 and if you are facing an overweight charge be sure to ask if you can place your bag on a different scale. Typically the baggage scales that are placed at airports are very accurate and reliable scales that are designed to meet certain standards, like NTEP approval. However, they can get out of calibration sometimes for various reasons and that is why it is a good idea for airlines to check the scales on a regular basis and have companies like ours calibrate the scales with certified test weights.