|Soil testing is essential before planting healthy vegetables and landscaping!|
To obtain the proper equipment and instructions, visit your local NC Cooperative Extension Office.
Once a free service for all North Carolinians, soil testing now comes with a $4 processing fee if submitted between peak testing months for farmers, historically December through March.
The new soil testing fee is tied to the Appropriations Act of 2013 which contains a provision to implement a soil-testing fee. The fee was approved by the Board of Agriculture and will be charged for all soil samples processed by the NCDACS Agronomic Division during its busiest season: December through March. (There will still be no fee from April through November.)
Therefore, homeowners who diligently submit soil tests in Spring (such as April) before planting vegetables, or reseeding warm season grasses like Zoysia and Bermuda in June, will not likely incur testing fees. Likewise, soil tests for reseeding Fescue in September are generally submitted in August and would not have testing fees.
NOTE: This year, December 1st falls on a Sunday and is preceded by the Thanksgiving holidays. Wednesday, November 27th, will be the last business day of the month for the soil testing lab. Any soil samples arriving after 6 p.m. on November 27th will be subject to the peak-season fee because they will not be logged in and processed until December 2nd.
Sample drop offs must take place during business hours (6 a.m.–6 p.m., Mon.–Fri.). A locked gate will prevent access to the loading dock area after hours and on weekends. This change will help increase the security of samples and improve customers’ access to Agronomic Division personnel.
Payment should not be placed inside shippers. By late Fall 2013, clients will have the convenience of entering sample and payment (credit card or escrow account) information online in the PALS website. Cash and checks will be accepted for peak-season samples only if deposited in advance in an escrow account.