Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Mike Davis to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
Peak season testing fees are set to go into effect Dec. 1 at the Agronomic Services soil testing lab, marking the last week to submit samples for free. Peak season runs through March 31, 2021. Happy Thanksgiving from North Carolina farms – North Carolina is a top producer in turkeys, hams and sweet potatoes. Enjoy!
Work on the farm is year-round. And now is a time when farmers are looking to take soil samples to get ready for next season.
On Dec. 1, peak season fees will go into effect for soil sample testing. Farmers have until 5 p.m. Nov. 30 to get their samples in before the $4 fee goes into effect.
Peak season runs Dec. 1 through March 31.
Many of your listeners may remember that we implemented this fee in 2013 to try to encourage growers to submit their samples earlier to ensure a quicker turnaround in results.
Before this fee period went into effect, turnaround times were longer because so many samples would come in during a narrow window of time.
It was not uncommon to see the halls of the Agronomic Services labs lined with samples waiting to be tested. Our soil testing numbers for 2018-2019 was 287,259 analyses.
We have been fortunate to be able to keep the fees collected for soil samples and invest that money back into lab upgrades and to hire additional seasonal workers to help with the increased workloads.
We have added a number of specially-designed automated machines that can process multiple samples more quickly and efficiently. We continue to make improvements each year.
Soil samples must be submitted with completed paperwork, which can be found online at our Agronomic Services webpage.
Soil samples can be dropped off at the loading dock at the Eaddy Building at 4300 Reedy Creek Road in Raleigh.
During the fee period, samples can only be dropped off between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for state holidays. There will be no after-hours drop-off times once peak season goes into effect.
If you have questions about the process, you can call our Agronomic Services Division at 919-733-2655.
I don’t want to miss the opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. North Carolina farm products may very likely be on your holiday menu since North Carolina leads the country in the production of sweet potatoes and we are second in turkeys and pork.
I don’t know what you will be having, but I know we’ll have all three of those at our Thanksgiving dinner.
As we gather together, I encourage you to also offer thanks for our farmers, food processors, grocery store workers and truckers who have stayed on the job to keep us all fed throughout this pandemic despite many challenges.
I am so proud of their continued commitment to produce the food, fiber and fuel that we all rely on.
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and caution you to be especially careful when you gather together.