Soil testing at the NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division is in very high demand this fall. Weather conditions have allowed growers and crop consultants to sample earlier than normal. In November, the lab analyzed 12 percent more samples than it did last year, and thousands more are lined up to be tested. With so many samples coming in, processing currently requires five to six weeks.
The department is working to speed up the analysis. A new piece of equipment is scheduled to be up and running in early January, and it should boost the lab’s processing capacity to more than 3,200 soil samples a day, which would be a record.
In addition to testing for nutrient levels, the lab also performs two analytical tests that allow us to classify soils for the purpose of making reliable lime and fertilizer recommendations, which have been field tested here in North Carolina. And soil tests are free for North Carolina residents.
Listen as Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda talk about soil sampling and why growers are eager to get their results.
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