Beginning Nov. 1, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will no longer routinely mail out paper copies of agronomic reports.

This policy will apply to reports for soil tests and nematode assays, as well as plant tissue, waste, solution and soilless media analyses.

All these reports are readily available through the NCDA&CS Agronomic Division’s Web site, www.ncagr.gov/agronomi.

“By making the switch to electronic-only reports, the NCDA&CS will work within its limited budget to save significantly on postage, printing and paper costs,” said Colleen Hudak-Wise, director of the Agronomic Division. “Although environmental and fiscal benefits are driving this change, clients should also see increases in convenience and efficiency. Online reports are available to clients faster than mailed reports and make record keeping much easier.

“Copies can be easily downloaded and saved, and the analytical data can be exported into spreadsheet format,” Hudak-Wise said.

Eventually, the NCDA&CS would like to notify all clients via e-mail when their reports are available online. Clients who provide a valid e-mail address on their sample information form, or who register an e-mail address with the Agronomic Division online, can receive electronic notification. In the interim, all other clients will receive a postcard with instructions on how to find their reports.

Clients who visit the Agronomic Division home page should select the “Find Your Report” link from the left-column navigation bar. This link takes visitors into the division’s laboratory-information site, known as PALS. For most people, using the “Quick Report Search” link is the most convenient way to access reports.

Basic instructions are outlined at http://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/reportsearch.htm. Anyone who has difficulty using the PALS report-search feature or has questions can call (919) 733-2655 for assistance during regular weekday office hours.