Photos from the Field: Piles of Soil Samples

By on August 31, 2009

Soil samples wait to be tested by the NCDA&CS Agronomic division in 1971. The service remains popular for gardeners and farmers today.

Soil samples wait to be tested by the NCDA&CS Agronomic division in 1971. The service remains popular for gardeners and farmers today.

Soil testing is one service the NCDA&CS Agronomic Division offers for farmers and consumers, which allows for hobby gardeners and larger farm operations alike to figure out the right amount of lime and fertilizer for optimum yield and environmental protection.

By November, which is when this photo was likely taken, the lab will be well into its busy season and could be receiving thousands of samples each day. Sample turnaround time usually increases steadily from fall through winter. The sooner farmers get their soil reports – which are available online – the sooner they’ll be able to make cost-effective decisions about fertilizer purchases for the spring. Agronomics also has a step-by-step slide show presentation on effective home sampling.

Soil sample boxes and sample information forms can be picked up from the NCDA&CS Agronomic Division office in Raleigh. Growers can also contact their NCDA&CS regional agronomist for these supplies or visit their county Cooperative Extension office. For additional information about soil sampling or testing, contact your NCDA&CS regional agronomist, visit www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/ or call Kent Messick, NCDA&CS Field Services Section chief, at (919) 733-2655.

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