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Farm markets
Introduction
Fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, tasty ready-to-eat foods, crafts, and more greet you at nearly 90 Farm Markets found throughout Oregon.
 
From Astoria to Brookings and Portland to Ontario, the majority of Markets are open seasonally from early spring to late fall, with a few hearty year round markets.
 
What does the Department of Agriculture require of me in order to be a vendor at my local market? What kind of scale do I need? Where do I get a license? Will someone test my scale? Is it ok to sell my produce by the head, bunch or count? These are just a few of the questions that the Measurement Standards Division can assist you with.
 

Your farmer's market manager and the Department of Agriculture, Measurement Standards Division, welcomes you to your local farmer's market. In order to assist you in making your experience as quick and simple as possible, we have assembled the following information in brochure form. To open a pdf file to print and pass out to farmer's market participants, please see the following links:

Oregon farmer's market guide (pdf 126 kB)

Recommended methods of sale for fresh fruits & vegetables (pdf 116 kB)


Guidelines for scale users
Basic responsibilities
Scales used commercially in Oregon:
  • Must be licensed annually with the department prior to commercial use, and
  • Must meet state standards for design, readability, accuracy, and reliability, based on National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Handbook 44.

Operator's responsibilities
  • Weighing devices must be positioned so that the indication may be read and the weighing operation observed from the customer's position.
  • The user of the device is responsible for the accuracy of the scale at all times.

Scale requirements
What type of devices can be used commercially?
Oregon regulations require all commercially used weighing equipment to have an active National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) Certificate of Conformance.

How can I find out which scales have an active NTEP certificate?
You can contact the scale company or check the NTEP database online.

Are there any exceptions for bench (spring) dial scales?
Yes. Non-NTEP approved scales may be used commercially provided they:
  1. Are non-price-computing, non-electric mechanical scales of 50 kg (110 lb) capacity or less,
  2. Meet other Scale Code requirements in NIST Handbook 44,
  3. Have a minimum of 240 scale divisions,
  4. Are intended for Class III applications excluding precious metals and semi precious gem weighing, and
  5. Have a division size of 1 oz or smaller if used for retail food sales and are less than 50 pounds capacity.

Licensing
How do I acquire a license for my weighing device?
Contact the Measurement Standards Division to request a license application for a farmer´s market scale. Your application will be sent along with other informational handouts. Please contact us by:
Phone 503/986-4670
Fax 503/986-4784
Email msd-info@oda.state.or.us
 

How much does a device license cost?
License fees are based upon the scale's manufacturer rated capacity. Scales used for Farm markets are generally type A Scales (0-400pound capacity). License fees are for 1 year, spanning July 1 to June 30, and are not proratable. Please see our weighing and measuring device licenses page for current license fees.



When can I begin using my weighing device?
You may start using your scale as soon as you submit a license application with payment to the Measurement Standards Division. One of our field inspectors will make arrangements to test and certify your scale when they are in your area.

Method of sale
The list of recommended methods of sale for fresh fruits and vegetables was compiled to provide uniformity and value comparison. Please review the following list and contact Josh Nelson at the Measurement Standards Division for further assistance.

Commodity
Method of Sale
Apples
Weight, count, or dry measure in units of 1 peck, 1/2 bushel, or 1 bushel
Apricots
Weight
Artichokes
Weight or count
Asparagus
Weight or bunch
Avocados
Count
Bananas
Weight
Beans
Weight or dry measure in units of 1 peck, 1/2 bushel, or 1 bushel
Beets
Weight or bunch
Berries (all)
Weight or dry measure in units of 1/2 dry pint, 1 dry pint, or 1 dry quart
Broccoli
Weight or bunch
Brussel sprouts
Weight
Cabbage
Weight or count
Cantaloupes
Weight or count
Carrots
Weight or bunch
Cauliflower
Weight or bunch
Celery
Weight or count
Cherries
Weight or dry measure in units of 1/2 dry pint, 1 dry pint, or 1 dry quart
Coconuts
Weight or count
Corn on the cob
Count
Cranberries
Weight or dry measure in units of 1/2 dry pint, 1 dry pint, or 1 dry quart
Cucumbers
Weight or count
Currants
Weight or dry measure in units of 1/2 dry pint, 1 dry pint, or 1 dry quart
Dates
Weight
Eggplant
Weight or count
Escarole
Weight or count
Figs
Weight
Garlic
Weight or count
Grapefruits
Weight or count
Grapes
Weight
Greens (all)
Weight
Kale
Weight
Kohlrabi
Weight
Leeks
Weight
Lemons
Weight or count
Lettuce
Weight or count
Limes
Weight or count
Mangoes
Weight or count
Melons (whole)
Weight or count
Melons (cut or pieces)
Weight
Mushrooms
Weight or dry measure in units of 1/2 dry pint, 1 dry pint, or 1 dry quart
Nectarines
Weight or count
Okra
Weight
Onions (spring or green)
Weight or bunch
Onions (dry)
Weight
Oranges
Weight or count
Papaya
Weight or count
Parsley
Weight or bunch
Parsnips
Weight
Peaches
Weight, count, or dry measure in units of 1 peck, 1/2 bushel, or 1 bushel
Pears
Weight, count, or dry measure in units of 1 peck, 1/2 bushel, or 1 bushel
Peas
Weight
Peppers
Weight or count
Persimmons
Weight or count
Plums
Weight or dry measure in units of 1 peck, 1/2 bushel, or 1 bushel
Pineapples
Weight or count
Pomegranates
Weight or count
Potatoes (Irish or sweet)
Weight
Prunes
Weight
Pumpkins
Weight or count
Radishes
Weight or count
Rhubarb
Weight
Rutabagas
Weight
Spinach
Weight or bunch
Tangerines
Weight or count
Tomatoes
Weight, count, or dry measure in units of 1 peck, 1/2 bushel, or 1 bushel
Tomatoes (cherry)
Weight or dry measure in units of 1/2 dry pint, 1 dry pint, or 1 dry quart
Turnips
Weight or bunch

More information
We have inspectors around the state to assist you at the Markets, attending informational meetings or by appointment to test your scale at home or primary place of business. For a complete list of inspectors, visit our MSD Staff list.
 
For specific questions, please contact Josh Nelson in the office by phone 503/986-4751 or cellular 503/931-8396.
 
Other information sources: