The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently implemented new fees for all agronomic tests except soil nutrient analysis, which is still free.

North Carolina growers planning for the new season are advised to become familiar with the new fees, some of which vary depending on crop or type of sample. The complete fee schedule is available online at www.ncagr.com/agronomi/feeshtm.

Plant tissue analysis costs $5 for most crops. The fee is $7 for certain crops that require extra services. This fee applies to cotton, strawberry and vinifera grape, which must be tested for petiole nitrates, and to alfalfa, cole crops, poinsettia and spinach, which must be tested for molybdenum, an essential trace element in plant nutrition. The additional tests are not optional.

Growers who submit tissue samples for these particular crops should check the box for the appropriate additional test when filling out the accompanying Plant Sample Information sheet. The laboratory will not process samples unless they arrive with the appropriate fee to cover the required extra tests.

NCDA&CS agronomists need the information from the special tests to provide growers with sound nutrient management recommendations.

The fee for standard analysis of all agricultural wastes is $5 per sample. Other tests are available, by request only, for an additional fee of $10 per test per sample. These optional tests include measurement of the heavy metals cadmium, nickel and lead and determination of the liming equivalent.

The new fees for nematode assay and solution (water or nutrient) analysis are $3 and $5, respectively.

For additional information on fees or sampling, contact your area NCDA&CS regional agronomist. Visit the Web site www.ncagr.com/agronomi/rahome.htm or call 1-919-733-2655 for contact information.