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Agronomic Services — Plant Tissue Analysis

Kristin A. Hicks, Ph.D., section chief

Plant tissue analysis can indicate whether plants contain the concentrations of essential nutrients necessary for optimum growth. Results help growers monitor nutrient uptake, correct deficiencies before they reach a critical stage and, for some crops, time harvest appropriately.

Standard Analysis includes: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, sodium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, boron and aluminum.

Standard fee per sample:

  • NC* growers $5
  • NC* researchers $12
  • Non-NC growers or researchers $25

*Samples qualify for the in-state rate if they originated in North Carolina. Research samples require an annual research agreement prior to submission. All research samples receive a 10% analysis recheck for quality control at no added cost.

Extra tests available at $2 each:

  • Molybdenum (Mo)
  • Chloride
  • Nitrate- nitrogen (NO3-N).

Note: petiole NO3-N is a required test for strawberry and cotton samples. Molybdenum is a required test for Brassicas.

Note: Plant tissue analysis does not include analysis of forage plants for use as animal feed. Feed analysis is provided through the NCDA&CS Food & Drug Protection Division.

North American Proficiency Testing logo.
Plant Tissue Reports
and Explanatory Information

Report Search (PALS)
Sample Turnaround Times
Understanding the Plant Tissue Report
Understanding the Plant Tissue Report for Cotton
Plant Tissue Analysis (descriptive brochure)
Plant Tissue Analysis Guide
Strawberry Fertility Manual

Plant Sample Analysis Methodolgy Plant/Waste/Solution/Media Analytical Procedures
Instructional Presentations View
     Collecting Plant Tissue Samples
     Completing the Plant Sample Information Form
     Understanding the NCDA&CS Plant Analysis Report

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     Collecting Plant Tissue Samples
     Completing the Plant Sample Information Form
     Understanding the NCDA&CS Plant Analysis Report

Tissue Sampling

Plant Sample Information Form
Pictorial Guide to Plant Tissue Sampling
Plant Tissue Samples: Proper Handling
Sampling for Plant Analysis
Submitting Samples for Problem Diagnosis
Cornstalk Testing to Evaluate Nitrogen Management
Using Tissue Analysis to Monitor Cotton Nutrition
Tissue Sampling & Analysis for Greenhouse Tomatoes
Strawberry Tissue Analysis
Harvesting Tobacco Based on Tissue Analysis
Production Tools for Tobacco Growers
Wheat Tissue Samples Assure Proper Spring Nitrogen Rate
Nitrogen Management for Small Grains

Plant Tissue Sampling Handouts

Blackberry Raspberry Tissue Sampling Handout
Blueberry Tissue Sampling Handout
Corn Tissue Sampling Handout
Fraser Fir Tissue Sampling Handout
Peach Tissue Sampling Handout
Pine Tissue Sampling Handout
Tobacco Tissue Sampling Handout
Turf Tissue Sampling Handout
Wheat Tissue Sampling Handout

Sample Containers Sample containers are not available by mail. Pick up mailing envelopes for plant tissue samples at any county Cooperative Extension office or at the Agronomic Division office in Raleigh.
Plant Sample Summary Information: 2003–2012 Number of Samples by Crop and Year
Number of Samples by County and Year
Other References Plant Analysis Reference Procedures for the Southern Region of the United States
Reference Sufficiency Ranges for Plant Analysis in the Southern Region of the United States
NCSU Floriculture Deficiency Series [not pdf]
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Many of the publications accessible from this page are published in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Click here to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat reader.

Last Update October 17, 2017


NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division, Colleen M. Hudak-Wise, Ph.D., Director
Mailing Address: 1040 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1040
Physical Address: 4300 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh NC 27607-6465
Phone: (919) 733-2655; FAX: (919) 733-2837

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