Requirements for submission

This testing is for regulation purposes ONLY.

  1. Samples must be collected from property located In North Carolina.
  2. Samples must be submitted in NCDA&CS soil sample boxes only.
  3. A sample ID chosen by the customer must be on BOTH the soil sample box and on the soil sample submission form.
  4. The soil sample submission form must contain all required information (mailing address, phone number and email address OR PALS ID) and must accompany the soil sample box(es).
  5. Failure to adhere to any one of these requirements may result in your sample(s) not being processed.


Tab/Accordion Items

There is not really a "soil test kit" per se. You will need a sample submission form available online and a sample box, which you can get from either the loading dock of the Agronomic Services lab in Raleigh, or from your local county cooperative extension office. In some counties, the local hardware stores may have boxes as well. Detailed information on collecting samples may be found on the "Collect Samples" page.


This is the most common type of soil sampling. Predictive testing is used to determine what nutrients are needed before planting or to maintain adequate fertility of established plantings.


Diagnostic testing is used for "diagnosing" a fertility problem with the soil when an problem is occurring. Examples of this may be stunted growth, patches in the lawn, or discolored plants. To submit a diagnostic sample, collect samples  from both the problem location and from a healthy location for comparison. Collecting and submitting corresponding plant tissue samples may be helpful as well.

Sample IDs are a combination of up to 5 letters or numbers created by the person submitting samples and should be listed on both the soil box and the submission form.  The sample IDs should reflect where the sample was collected and will allow the client to correlate the report data to specific areas of sample collection. Sample IDs are critical to understanding your soil report.

Crop codes indicate what the person is wanting to grow in the area the samples are taken. This information is vital to obtain correct lime and fertilization recommendations.

Homeowner crop codes are:

020 Azalea / Camelia
022 Lawn Centipede
026 Lawn (not centipede) 
023 Flower Garden
024 Vegetable Garden
028 Rose
025 Mtn. Laurel / Rhododendron 
029 Shrubs
030 Berries / Fruits / Nuts (except blueberries)
032 Blueberries
031 Landscape Tree (deciduous and evergreen)

Farm ID's are most frequently used with commercial growers, but homeowners can utilize this as well if they have multiple properties.

Example: Someone has a primary home in Charlotte that they submit samples for, but they also have a home at the beach and want to submit samples for that property. They could use farm ID's "home" for the main home and "beach" for the other.

The Farm ID appears on the client report an on the PALS report page.  It is useful in tracking samples from multiple locations.

This page was last modified on 04/15/2024