Peak soil season is the Agronomic Division's busiest time of year, receiving thousands of samples within a short amount of time. The numbers will begin to surge in mid-October as people rush to beat the peak soil season fees. Expect to start seeing increased turnaround times. A turnaround time estimator is located on the PALS homepage. 

Most of the year (generally April through November), routine NCDA&CS soil tests are provided at "no direct cost" to N.C. residents because of funding derived from a statewide fee on commercial fertilizer.
Session Law 2009-451 Page 133

From ~ Thanksgiving through March, however, a peak-season fee of $4 is charged for the processing of all soil samples.
Session Law 2013-360 Page 186

Drop Off Times

Monday through Friday- excluding state holidays

Samples can be dropped off between 6:00 am and 5:00 pm. (But please don't wait until the last minute.)

If  assistance is needed, please drop off between 7:00 am and 4:00 pm.

Gates will close daily and remain closed over weekends and state holidays for the security of samples and monies with samples. Please do not try to drop off samples outside of operating hours.


Fees are assessed to samples received during peak season dates.  Application of fees are based on when samples are RECEIVED at the Agronomic Division lab, not shipping date, online submission date or when samples are dropped off at the Cooperative Extension Office.

Dates: December 1- March 31.

Cost: $4.00 per sample

Completed reports will remain in "Pay Now" status until samples are paid for. Once samples are paid for, reports will release.

If payment is submitted with your submission, your report will release as soon as it is complete.

NCSU Cooperative Extension

The extension offices are in place to help citizens within their counties. Most will assist with transporting soil samples to the lab in Raleigh. 

Procedures and timeframes for sample transport vary by county. Check with your local extension office to determine if this can satisfy your need or if you need to ship them to the Agronomic Services lab yourself. 

If you drop off samples too close to the start of peak season, you run the risk of the samples not making it to the lab before peak season fees are assessed. Extension offices are not held responsible for payments if samples don't arrive in time.

Find your local NCSU extension office


**If you are shipping yourself, please see shipping information on the "Submit Samples" pages. UPS and FedEx will provide the quickest service as compared to USPS.

This page was last modified on 12/05/2023