Avoid Fees, Submit Soil Samples Now
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Peak season soil testing fees are set to begin December 1 through March 31, 2022. Submitting soils samples to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Agronomic Services lab before that date will mean growers and homeowners can avoid the $4 per sample fee.
Fall is the busiest time of the year for the soil testing lab. The peak-season fee of $4 started in 2013 to encourage early sampling in the fall. The other times, outside of peak-season, soil testing service is FREE. Samples with completed soil information forms must be physically delivered and received by the Agronomic Services Division by 5 p.m. on November 30 to avoid the fee. Growers and gardeners are encouraged to ship early since unexpected shipping delays can result in peak-season fees.
Agriculture and agribusiness represent our #1 industry at $95.9 billion. Soil sampling is a sound investment by growers as it provides the specific scientific recommendations to optimize crop production and to avoid applying excess and unneeded nutrients, which are costly to growers, said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. I encourage growers to sample early to avoid the peak-season fees, but if that is not possible, know that these fees are reinvested into the lab to continue to improve efficiency.
If you happen to be heading to Raleigh before November 30, you can drop off samples at the Eaddy Building at the loading dock during normal business hours. Samples can be dropped off 24-7 until 5 p.m. on November 30.
If you need sample boxes, you can pick them up at the N.C. Cooperative Extension of McDowell County office, 60 East Court Street, Marion, 2nd Floor. We also have soil test kits available for homeowners and gardeners at the office, Spencer’s Ace Hardware, Marion, and Gibbs Hardware, Old Fort.
Soil sample status and results can be found online.